Microsoft Plans To Release Minecraft: Education Edition
Microsoft is adding yet another market for its popular Minecraft video game, announcing that it has acquired the rights to MinecraftEdu from Teacher Gaming LLC. MinecraftEdu adapts Minecraft into a teaching tool, featuring a library of lesson plans for subjects such as STEM, history, language, and art. Microsoft plans to rename the service Minecraft Education Edition and launch it on a free trial basis this summer.
The regular version of Minecraft was designed to encourage an interest in game design and programming in children, but MinecraftEdu caters specifically to the needs of the educator. Teachers can adapt the game's virtual world to their own needs, and easily download modifications made by other instructors. At the time of the acquisition, MinecraftEdu was used in 7,000 classrooms across 40 different countries worldwide. Microsoft's brand power is expected to sharply increase this number.
The game's reach is massive, potentially helping children develop digital citizenship skills, empathy, and literacy by building and interacting with their own virtual worlds. Using the same game, elementary students can learn about city planning, middle schoolers can learn about the basics of coding, and college students can learn geography by recreating it in Minecraft's virtual world.
MinecraftEdu charged $25 per month per server instance for its service, which covered a class with 30 students. Interested educators also paid a one time Server Software license fee of $41. Microsoft did not get into any pricing details in its announcement, but the BBC reports that the company plans to charge $5 per head, student or teacher. Existing MinecraftEdu users will receive a free year of Microsoft's version, and the original game will continue to be sold until Microsoft's product is ready.
The company has already launched a Minecraft Education Edition website, including lesson plans, forums, and other resources. Microsoft did not reveal the price paid to acquire the rights to MinecraftEdu.
Using MinecraftEdu–Part 1–Introduction