Since it’s original release in 2009, Minecraft has become a staple game for generations of children. With its simple gameplay and endless possibilities, Minecraft has far surpassed 100 million registered users and it seems that soon, that number could almost triple.
After noticing the amount of children spending every evening playing through their handmade world, Microsoft (after buying into the company in 2014 for 2.5 billion) has revealed that they are releasing “Minecraft Education Edition”, and will soon be rolling it out to schools this summer following their success with purchasing MineCraftEdu.
“MineCraftEdu was made by teachers, for teachers” and was produced by the child-friendly company Teacher Gaming LLC, that encourages education through a game that all of their students had learnt to grow and love. The subjects covered by their edition include STEM subjects, language, history and art and many more, giving children a fun and hands-on part in their education. With no need for textbooks, teachers could adapt their MineCraft world to each lesson plan. From something as simple as counting blocks or creating entire worlds. They could access other teacher’s lesson plans, attend training workshops or have as much technical support as they could muster, with a click of a button.
Daily Minecraft Lessons
After Microsoft had bought into the company for an undisclosed amount, they built and designed their own edition and have agreed to begin rolling out free trials to schools this year. More than 7000 classrooms already have Minecraft as a daily lesson, and Microsoft are confident that those figures could sky rocket easily with the release of their edition.
The company believes that when children enter these virtual worlds, created with them in mind, they will be introduced to a world of virtual of learning that leaves them with greater knowledge, without the pressure of the traditional pen and paper. With life lessons such as digital citizenship, social skills, respect for their fellow students online and even literacy. Team building activities online, could increase bonds between students, and with real time teacher interactions, the risk of cyber bullying is almost void.
Schools are already creating their own lessons with this system, from computer engineering, to city planning, to even creating an entire time period for their students to walk around and explore everything that makes the world tick. Giving children the ability to go on a day trip, within the confines of the classroom.
MineCraftEdu originally charged those who used their software $25 per month as well as a one-time purchase of the Server Software License at $41. Although Microsoft didn’t announce prices in their original release, it is believed that every child and teacher will be charged $5 each as an annual fee. Although the price will soon seem irrelevant with the promise of such development and fun and for everyone in a classroom. Everyone who was originally subscribed to the server will get a free one-year trial with the new edition, making sure that loyal customers won’t be left out.
Well no matter what happens, I know many loyal Minecraft fans who would love to experience a whole new world within the confounds of their school. Let’s hope that Microsoft takes a page out of their subscribers books, and build a world, brick by brick, that means no lesson is complete without a virtual tour or two.