Minecraft - Education Edition will have a focus on utilizing Minecraft in the classroom.
Savvy young educators these days are already using Minecraft to help teach the young-uns anything from geography, to science, to computer programming. The world-builder's new owner Microsoft has taken notice of this, and has endeavored to create a new edition of the game tailored especially to educators. Introducing Minecraft: Education Edition.
Initially, the education edition of the game won't have too many dramatic changes, as Microsoft is clear that while it can be used as an educational tool, it wants to keep the game part of it completely intact. After all, the fun of Minecraft is all about how each individual creatively explores and interacts with the world.
The new features include improving the mapping feature so that a class can actually find its way around the world, letting teachers lock in certain resources for students to use, and adding an in-game camera and scrapbook to handle screenshots for cataloging where you've been.
Microsoft hopes that teachers will use the newly launched education edition website to upload custom maps and lesson plans, in order to share the love with any other teachers who are thinking of using Minecraft in the classroom. There's already a bunch of starter lessons up there for you to check out!
Minecraft: Education Edition will launch sometime this summer, and it's just the start of Microsoft's plan to build out Minecraft for schools. The initial release will supposedly set up the infrastructure for the game, giving teachers a way to easily distribute the game to both school computers, and student's home computers.
It's definitely a praise-worthy move from Microsoft, and I'm sure one that will make teachers everywhere very happy.