Minecraft Education Edition
Written by Sue Gee   
Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Having recently acquired MinecraftEdu, Microsoft has announced its own Minecraft Educational Edition which will be available as a free trial this summer.




As most readers will already know Minecraft was created by Swedish programmer Markus "Notch" Persson and then developed and published by Mojang. Microsoft bought Mojang in 2014 and early in 2016 it bought MinecraftEdu, a version of the game built especially for the classroom developed in Finland by TeachGaming LLC.

The announcement of Minecraft Education Edition states:

At its core, Minecraft is an open world that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem solving. It’s enjoyed by a worldwide community of over 100 million players who constantly inspire us with their creations.

Many of the skills required to enjoy Minecraft to its fullest are important to educators who might be searching for inventive ways to engage their students. By bringing Minecraft into the classroom, we are empowering educators and students to teach and learn through building and exploring within a fun, familiar environment.

Although Teacher Gaming's MinecraftEdu won't be further developed, existing customers can continue to use it and will also get a year's free use of the new product once it is available.

While Minecraft Education Edition will incorporate the features of MinecraftEdu, there is a fundamental change in the program - like the Windows 10 version of Minecraft it will be written in C++ rather than in Java. It is hoped that this will remove the performance problems associated with the Java version and enable teachers to control large multi-player sessions. Although it should be possible to import existing Minecraft worlds, skins and maps, mods written in Java code will not be compatible.

At the BETT education technology event in London last week an early version of the Education Edition were showcasing its high resolution settings on the Minecraft stand. 

In schools and colleges that use Office 365 users will be able to log on to Minecraft using their Microsoft accounts. Alternatively the Education Edition will be able to be set up on a peer-to-peer classroom network, without a server.

Microsoft has already harnessed the popularity of Minecraft to deliver an Hour of Code. Now it is poised to give Minecraft a much more extensive role in the classroom.



More Information

MinecraftEdu & Minecraft: Education Edition

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 26 January 2016 )