“Over the past few years, educators around the world have been using Minecraft to explore subjects that might not spring to mind when you think of our block-based game. Since 2011, MinecraftEdu – a version of Minecraft built for the classroom – has been used in over 40 countries. Lots of people have learned loads of things since then,” says the blog post on Mojang’s website.
“Microsoft has acquired MinecraftEdu and is building upon its proven success to create a new version of Minecraft that’s dedicated to learning. The new title will be available as a free trial this summer. All existing MinecraftEdu customers will get the first year of Minecraft: Education Edition free of charge.”
“One of the reasons Minecraft fits so well in the classroom is because it’s a common, creative playground,” said Vu Bui, COO of Mojang. “We’ve seen that Minecraft transcends the differences in teaching and learning styles and education systems around the world. It’s an open space where people can come together and build a lesson around nearly anything.”
Since the introduction of Minecraft to the classroom, educators around the world have been using Minecraft to effectively teach students everything from STEM subjects to art and poetry. It’s this versatility that excites many educators about the potential. A trailer for MinecraftEDU can be seen below, from 2013.
“In education, we are constantly seeking pathways to explore learning beyond the confines of a textbook.Minecraft allows us that opportunity,” said Rafranz Davis, Executive Director of Professional Development and Learning, Lufkin ISD. “When we see our kids enjoying the process of learning in this way, it’s a game changer.”
It’s an exciting time for parents, teachers and others who take advantage of Minecraft as an educational tool. While not much has been said on how it will grow, with a summer trial only half a year away, we should hopefully see more of Minecraft Education Edition in the near future.