Microsoft will be launching a new version of Minecraft later this summer, designed specifically for educational purposes and intended to be used in classrooms around the world.
Minecraft is one of the most popular games in the world and it allows players to explore, shape and create their own worlds. With its popularity soaring over the past few years, it’s no wonder that committed educators also saw the game’s potential as a teaching tool.
That’s how MinecraftEdu was born, which Microsoft has now purchased. MinecraftEdu has until now been used in hundreds of classrooms as a teaching aid, and has taught children everything from architecture to physics and, of course, coding. Its future incarnation at Microsoft as Minecraft Education Edition will continue to build on that foundation by offering lesson plans, a forum for ideas and feedback on future editions, and a way to connect experienced Minecraft educators, or “mentors”, with those who are just starting to try it out.
Minecraft Education Edition will be available as a free trial starting this summer, while existing MinecraftEdu users will get the first year free, once the program officially launches. There’s no word on pricing after that first year just yet.