As part of its ongoing commitment to empower students, Microsoft is releasing Minecraft: Education Edition early access for educators around the world. The early access version of Minecraft: Education Edition is available now, and gives educators a chance to install and try an early version of the experience for free throughout the summer.
In May Microsoft hosted a Beta program, collecting feedback from more than 2,000 students and educators representing more than 100 schools in 26 countries around the world. Their detailed feedback helped Microsoft fine-tune the experience across a diverse set of learning environments. The early access version of Minecraft: Education Edition that we are releasing today includes several key features that the community told the firm are important for enhancing the learning environment, including easy classroom collaboration, Non-Player Characters, and camera and portfolio features that allow students to take screenshots of their work and document the development of their projects.
Crafting educational success in Cape Town
While parents usually view computer and videogames as a distraction preventing their kids from studying, doing homework or other intellectually stimulating activities like reading for instance. Keshma Patel, a Grade 6 teacher at Micklefield Primary School for Girls in Cape Town has other ideas.
Keshma is currently completing her Masters’ degree at the University of Cape Town on the topic of how the use of technology develops critical thinking. At the end of 2015 Keshma decided to explore using Minecraft in her class to promote creativity, collaboration, and problem solving. Keshma felt that she wanted to use the world’s most popular game as a tool for learning and introduced Minecraft in her classroom, even though she wasn’t entirely familiar with using it. This initiative has boosted the levels of attention and interactivity in the class, with students being more engaged with the subject matter.
In addition to Minecraft: Education Edition, Microsoft is also releasing updated classroom content and curriculum to help educators get started quickly using Minecraft: Education Edition. Sample lessons range across subjects and age levels, and include “City Planning for Population Growth”, “Exploring factors and multiples”, and “Effects of deforestation”.