Last January of this year, Microsoft has launched Minecraft: Education Edition. The company released an 'early access' version to some educators.
Now, after series of test runs, the full version of "Minecraft: Education Edition" will be officially re-launched on the 1st of November 2016. Upon its launching, the tool will leave 'early access' and become available to all educators. It was advised that the 'Early Access' edition will still be free until November.
When it goes live, it will cost $5 annually per user as a membership fee or a district-wide license. It will be sold on the Windows Store.
Nonetheless, Microsoft assures price breaks for school districts that purchase certain licenses. Hence, larger districts can probably have amicable negotiation with the company in order to pay less per user.
Minecraft is about placing blocks and going on adventures. It can explore randomly generated worlds and build amazing things from the simplest of homes to the grandest of castles.
Customarily, Minecraft isn't really just a video game. It can be deemed as a virtual reality world. In theory, the platform could better connect young students as comparison to a usual dreary classroom with chalkboard and eraser set-up.
Based on the report by Engadget.com, according to the MinecraftEdu team, over 35,000 students and teachers around the world have been playing around in Minecraft's sandbox since the program went live at the beginning of the summer.
The team has built out "Classroom Mode" which showcases a top-down look at the Minecraft world thru companion app, upon its official release. This is their innovative approach to keep an education-focused feature in the Minecraft.
In the app, educators can manage world settings, have in-game talk to students, give out items or even 'teleport' their kids around the map from a single interface.
As the main Minecraft world evolves, innovates and adds new features, so will the education edition. Teachers using the app are encouraged to submit feature feedback, ideas and further comments.
Lastly, for any teacher who hasn't stepped into Minecraft's blocky and adventurous world yet, www.education.minecraft.net offers some starter worlds, tutorials, free lesson plans in subjects ranging from storytelling to city planning. They also provide a mentoring program to connect them with other educators.
The operating system requirements of "Minecraft: Education Edition" are OS X El Capitan or Windows 10, plus a free Office 365 account to use.
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