Andy Schuette has been gaming ever since he could hold a SNES controller in his hands and has been loving every minute of it. He's the funniest guy he knows, and the least funny guy everyone else knows.
Everyone learns differently. Some are visual learners that want to see the subject and others can simply read and absorb information well. What if we could drop ourselves into the information to get full immersion and really understand the subject matter? Microsoft wants to help accomplish that by announcing Minecraft: Education Edition for use in schools beginning this summer.
Minecraft‘s existing popularity will certainly lend itself to kids wanting to use the software even if it means they are learning simultaneously. The new version is based on a mod that was recently acquired by Microsoft. The mod, MinecraftEdu, created a better infrastructure for use of Minecraft in a school setting with discounted software costs for schools and includes teaching lessons that students can follow in-game.
With Microsoft’s acquisition of the mod and ability to move even further in the same vein that it tapped, it should make for a great educational experience for kids in the classroom to have fun while learning.
Vu Bui, the COO of Mojang said:
“One of the reasons Minecraft fits so well in the classroom is because it’s a common, creative playground. We’ve seen that Minecraft transcends the differences in teaching and learning styles and education systems around the world. It’s an open space where people can come together and build a lesson around nearly anything.”
The new use of the software can come in handy especially in history and science. For history worlds can be created that emulate major places and times in our world’s history such as the Roman Empire and the Pyramids of Giza. This allows students to really explore the ares rather than just see pictures and read stories to understand what the places were like.
As for science, there are stories of people making working electronics in the game and with mods adding new material types there is no end to what teachers and students can work together to build and explore.
Microsoft has assured subscribers to the MinecraftEdu mod that the transition will be a smooth one. Its use can be continued as long as customers choose to go for. The server will remain live to keep the created worlds open for use and people can continue to sign up for the use of their servers. And finally there will be a special deal for those already using MinecraftEdu where they will receive one free year of Minecraft: Education Edition.
It will be cool to see how Minecraft: Education Edition can spread further into classrooms and change the face of education for children everywhere. Giving them a new way to learn can make all the difference in the world for some students. The new educational version of the game promises to provide an almost unending amount of opportunities for lessons for teachers and students alike. While there can often be a rift between students and teachers when learning is not the easiest, maybe working together to build something amazing can bring them together for a better working relationship in a learning environment.