Microsoft announced that Minecraft Education Edition — Minecraft specifically for use in classrooms — will be available for free trial this summer. The associated web site is already live and offers several teacher resources including forums and starter lessons.
Microsoft acquired Minecraft — the wildly popular video game created by Markus Perrson — in 2014 for a disclosed sum of ALL THE DOLLARS.
The technology behemoth closed on its recent acquisition of MinecraftEdu for so much money they won’t even tell us how much. That means it’s a lot. That means the deal went down more like an exclusive restaurant with a distinct lack of pricing on its menu and less like hey, let’s watch Anchorman and have corndogs. Again.
But, I DIGRESS.
MinecraftEdu, produced by Teacher Gaming LLC and renamed Minecraft Education Edition by Microsoft, includes a generous cache of lessons and activities that can be used by teachers to explore several subjects including language, history, art, and STEM.
The game inherently encourages important skills like empathy and responsible digital citizenship and lends itself well to being a powerful educational tool. According to this post by Microsoft’s Anthony Salcito, VP of Worldwide Education, over 7000 classrooms in 40 countries across the globe have already incorporated Minecraft into the curriculum.
Salcito goes on to say:
[su_quote]Minecraft Education Edition will be shaped by a growing community of educators throughout its development this spring and through the educator community…. I’m happy to share that this site will also boast a new Minecraft Mentors program, matching educators with experience using Minecraft in the classroom with those looking to try it for the first time.[/su_quote]
Hey Tony, if Microsoft is looking for an 8 year old second grade Minecraft expert to become a mentor, I know just the guy. (Hint: it’s my son.)
One thing’s for sure: kids everywhere love this pixelated world of textured cubes and monster spawners. Indeed it may be just the thing to get our less enthusiastic learners out of bed in the morning.