Minecraft was acquired by Microsoft in 2014 for $2.5 billion, but the American multinational technology company headquartered in Redmond, Washington has announced at the beginning of this year that it will expand its investment in this game and will bring a version that will be used by teachers in classrooms. Minecraft Education Edition will be released in beta format in May and will be available in over 100 schools from 30 countries.
Microsoft will run this beta program with teachers all over the world, who will use Minecraft Education Edition to teach their students STEM subjects, language, history and art, in classrooms, through this game. After the beta testing will be over, in June will debut the “early access” program, and educators will be able to download the game for free, but they must offer Microsoft their feedback.
Minecraft Education Edition will be available in 11 languages and the program will continue throughout the summer. During this time, Microsoft will team up with early adopters and build out lesson plans, and when the early access program will be ready, the game’s user licenses will be purchased through direct and volume licensing channels.
Only schools that have an existing agreement with Microsoft will add Minecraft: Education Edition to their license agreements and educators will purchase the licenses online. Minecraft: Education Edition will be released for computers running on Windows 10 and Mac OS X El Capitan and both teachers and students will have access to it through a free Office 365 Education account.
It all started when Microsoft has acquired a learning game maker called Teacher Gaming LLC, which created MinecraftEdu, a game that could be used by teachers, as well. This game offered a bunch of lesson plans for educators to teach their students even social justice, but Microsoft hasn’t revealed the sum that was paid for MinecraftEdu.