Microsoft has announced that this May they will release a closed program called Minecraft: Education Edition”. It is a beta version, and it will supposedly be accompanied by another program (with “early access”) in June. This two steps of testing will make sure that the game is perfect for the final launch.
But what is the purpose of this edition? Microsoft declared that this aims to help kids learn about navigation, collaboration, social skills and creating reusable projects for their classes. More than 100 schools from 30 countries will have access to testing the software in May. All they have to do is to provide a rich feedback afterwards.
The program in June will be available to more people, having as target 41 countries and being available in 11 languages. All the summer, Microsoft plans to work closely with those who test the early versions, in order to create lesson plans and projects.
However, the attempt to make Minecraft a learning aid is not something new for Microsoft. Back in 2014, they bought Mojang, a company which is excellent with games. Also, MinecraftEdu had included educational changes to the game. This version was also tested around the world in countless classrooms, and it had awesome results.
More and more educators become aware of the benefits of using Minecraft as an education tool. There are lots of stories circulating the Internet about how communities all around the world begin to use this medium in order to make art, poetry or STEM topics more attractive for students. Some say that one of the best parts is the fact that it lets people control the process of learning, thus enabling them to use their leadership qualities.
However, there has been no exact date on which the early access program will end, so we have to wait until it will be widely available.
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