Microsoft Announces Minecraft - Education Edition

Microsoft Announces Minecraft - Education Edition

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.

Source: Microsoft via The Verge

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Still waiting for MineCraft: Fun Edition...

Silentpony:
Still waiting for MineCraft: Fun Edition...

Minecraft isn't a very hand-holdy game. If you're unwilling or unable to make your own fun out of the offered package, you won't find a lot to like. Unless you're using user-crafted maps with Redstone-based level mechanics and a smorgasbord of plugins, there's not a lot of "game", in the classic sense, to Minecraft.

On the other hand, the shovelfuls of "Minecraft with Guns" variants that clog Steam Greenlight tend to prove that adding bullets and a reticle to this kind of simple formula isn't necessarily the brightest idea.

IamLEAM1983:
On the other hand, the shovelfuls of "Minecraft with Guns" variants that clog Steam Greenlight tend to prove that adding bullets and a reticle to this kind of simple formula isn't necessarily the brightest idea.

Oh I don't know. Murder Miners was pretty good.

A part of me scoffs at the idea of Minecraft being a practical teaching tool (I'm one of those people who thrived on the classic lecture format so many education systems are trying to distance themselves from nowadays).

Then I remember playing SimCity 2000 and Oregon Trail as part of my elementary school curriculum and I find myself willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

Neverhoodian:
A part of me scoffs at the idea of Minecraft being a practical teaching tool (I'm one of those people who thrived on the classic lecture format so many education systems are trying to distance themselves from nowadays).

Then I remember playing SimCity 2000 and Oregon Trail as part of my elementary school curriculum and I find myself willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

It is very much a question of what is being taught. That whole city building thing with Minecraft is a good example of what it should be used for, but I definitely feel that it shouldn't be used for everything.

Luminous_Umbra:

Neverhoodian:
A part of me scoffs at the idea of Minecraft being a practical teaching tool (I'm one of those people who thrived on the classic lecture format so many education systems are trying to distance themselves from nowadays).

Then I remember playing SimCity 2000 and Oregon Trail as part of my elementary school curriculum and I find myself willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

It is very much a question of what is being taught. That whole city building thing with Minecraft is a good example of what it should be used for, but I definitely feel that it shouldn't be used for everything.

The kids in the video don't seem very old, so I'm guessing a very basic layer of geography and maybe some math (Architecture dimensions and geometry) and logic (Redstone) skills.

Neverhoodian:
A part of me scoffs at the idea of Minecraft being a practical teaching tool (I'm one of those people who thrived on the classic lecture format so many education systems are trying to distance themselves from nowadays).

Then I remember playing SimCity 2000 and Oregon Trail as part of my elementary school curriculum and I find myself willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

My son was recently asked by his teacher to build a model of a Maasai village, and chose to do it in Minecraft. He really enjoyed it - much more than he would if he'd been trying to do it with a physical model - and recorded a video using Windows 10's built in screen recording software to demonstrate all its features. Fortunately his teacher was happy with it - I was nervous they'd penalise him for not completing the task exactly as set.

When I saw the title, I was really nervous that Microsoft had broken down and neutered the game to do very basic things, but I think the way they've done it seems pretty good. Kids aren't stupid--when they're used to being given a thing in a specific way, they instantly know when they're being given an inferior version of that same thing. If Microsoft had significantly limited the way the game works, then the kids would quickly grow to learn that there are now two versions of Minecraft: the fun one and the not-fun one. And a huge part of what makes Minecraft such an effective teaching tool is because it's seen as something fun.

But the limits they've made are no different from other limits within the classroom and what the teacher would expect from students when using Minecraft. And they are leaving how the game is used to educate to the teachers, rather than trying to shovel some pre-built curriculum into their faces. They're allowing Minecraft to remain a very versatile tool that teachers and students choose how they use it, rather than trying to force it into becoming a specific teaching medium.

Luminous_Umbra:

Neverhoodian:
A part of me scoffs at the idea of Minecraft being a practical teaching tool (I'm one of those people who thrived on the classic lecture format so many education systems are trying to distance themselves from nowadays).

Then I remember playing SimCity 2000 and Oregon Trail as part of my elementary school curriculum and I find myself willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

It is very much a question of what is being taught. That whole city building thing with Minecraft is a good example of what it should be used for, but I definitely feel that it shouldn't be used for everything.

Redstone circuits can be used to demonstrate basic logic puzzles and problem solving, as well as basic coding, which is already being taught to many children under the age of 10 anyway. As far as geography, Minecraft can be used to demonstrate certain geographical features (mountains, mesas, plateaus, valleys, etc), as well as aid in demonstrating how to read topographical maps that show changes in elevation. Hell I can even see teachers turning them into interactive quizzes, using signs and redstone switches to do multiple choice or true/false questions.

I feel like this is a good move. Kids these days fucking love the goddamn shit out of Minecraft.

Newer generations are all moving toward electronics. Phones at younger ages, they want to see what Daddy, (people my age, who stuff their nose in computers A LOT for entertainment) does, and replicate that. Reddit is flooded, with stuipid little stories of kids asking about that their parents are doing in games like Elite: Dangerous. And on the other-side of the spectrum, you have bad parents just giving away iPads to shut the little bastards up for a few hours.

Minecraft really is electronic Lego. Except you're tasked to survive. A challenge that requires you to think. Kids can make their own fun, make castles, give some of those rooms purpose. That's my treasury. That's my crafting room, that's the room I made for the sister I never had, that's the room where I stabbed Billy from school to death in my mind. Or, kids can just go in creative and make cool looking stuff.

Nobody really saw this explosion of popularity coming. and I'm sure Lego's suffering because of it. Microsoft's smart on this move, as it's already been confirmed that there are numerous Teacher and hundreds of student accounts just floating about in Minecraft's user DB's.

Silentpony:
Still waiting for MineCraft: Fun Edition...

I kind of agree that the base game can be a bit dull. Modpacks are what keeps on bringing me back. Nuclear reactors, machine rooms, autofarms. There's even Magic too.

https://www.atlauncher.com/

IamLEAM1983:

Silentpony:
Still waiting for MineCraft: Fun Edition...

Minecraft isn't a very hand-holdy game. If you're unwilling or unable to make your own fun out of the offered package, you won't find a lot to like. Unless you're using user-crafted maps with Redstone-based level mechanics and a smorgasbord of plugins, there's not a lot of "game", in the classic sense, to Minecraft.

I think his problem is the same as with most people that dislike it. It's too freaking time consuming to do anything worth showing. Everything worthwhile requires a huge amount of grinding comparable to Korean MMORPG's.

That's why I usually play mod packs that allow for automation as you progress, so that you stop spending time on things you mastered and the game will grind for you while you keep tackling new things.

OT:
Minecraft has some educational potential, but I don't see too much use for it honestly. There is a use for redstone but that's about it.

IamLEAM1983:

Silentpony:
Still waiting for MineCraft: Fun Edition...

Minecraft isn't a very hand-holdy game. If you're unwilling or unable to make your own fun out of the offered package, you won't find a lot to like. Unless you're using user-crafted maps with Redstone-based level mechanics and a smorgasbord of plugins, there's not a lot of "game", in the classic sense, to Minecraft.

On the other hand, the shovelfuls of "Minecraft with Guns" variants that clog Steam Greenlight tend to prove that adding bullets and a reticle to this kind of simple formula isn't necessarily the brightest idea.

It's basically 3D lego builder. Which isn't fun for everyone. I was never a huge fan of legos so, yeah, a game that's basically that just doesn't appeal to me. It has nothing to do with being "hand-holdy", it has to do with finding the basic premise uninteresting.

OT: Considering how obsessed with minecraft my 3 god daughters are, being able to incorporate learning lessons into it would be great. They already eat up anything minecraft related that they can find.

um...didnt we allready *have* minecraft Edu?
wasnt there allready a free version that was just the buildmode version that was being used allready in some classrooms and in other places?

i have heard of a teacher who took their class to the Forbidden City, via minecraft, because its not viable to take a bunch of kids to china to visit it, and likely not only would it cost too much, but health and safety would have a fit (along with their moms n dads lol)
i also saw a teacher who used it (and redstone) to explain to older students (ie not 12-16ish, tho i cant be 100% sure since kids these days look a lot older to me than they did when i was one myself lol) to explain parts of neurotransmitters. i think they were using redstone to explain how painkillers work.

i may have missed it, but is it free, the new version i mean, or does the school have to pay (single copy or education licence like all those win7 32bit laptops they doled out years ago to try to help the lower income familys get online so the kids could do their homework)

as for *why* minecraft will be helpfull....its simple. kids (mostly) love minecraft.
a lot of kids these days will enjoy it more, even if its a more boaring subject like history ect, if its taught through minecraft.
and best of all.... no more trips outside. no more health and safety (except that they need regular breaks and eyestrain help, of course lol) panic attacks because class wants to visit someplace outside (shock) like a living museum or a sea life center or someplace dangerous (considering everything is dangerous these days to H&S lol)
its going to be seen as a win/win for schools because unless microsoft price it too high (or make every learner that uses it, aswell as each classroom and each teacher, buy an MC:EdU account to log into servers) its a LOT less expensive that school outings.

I'm guessing this special edition will be Windows 10 exclusive? And will feature the same limitations as the current console editions?

Happyninja42:
It's basically 3D lego builder. Which isn't fun for everyone. I was never a huge fan of legos so, yeah, a game that's basically that just doesn't appeal to me. It has nothing to do with being "hand-holdy", it has to do with finding the basic premise uninteresting.

And those people sure love to tell everyone else that clearly the people who don't find it fun are objectively right and everyone else is just insane.

As with everything, really.

i should have know....
subscription based...
http://www.gamespot.com/articles/microsoft-acquires-minecraftedu-announces-educatio/1100-6433940/?ftag=YHRe6a6b70

'Since its introduction in 2011, MinecraftEdu--an officially licensed program from TeacherGaming--was used in more than 40 countries, Mojang said. Everyone who bought MinecraftEdu will get the first year of Minecraft: Education Edition for free.'

and then people thought i was mad for saying this sort of thing would happen eventualy to normal minecraft.
seems like microsoft wants everything to move from a software to a service...so no more pay once, its pay every year...how long befor your windows becomes a 'service' not a 'software OS' hm?

 

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