Given that Minecraft has already been used in over a thousand classrooms in countries all over the world, why has Microsoft suddenly decided to have its own version? Well, Microsoft acquired MinecraftEdu, the game that was used in classrooms across the world and built Minecraft: Education Edition off from that.
How does it differ from standard Minecraft?
The concepts that made the original Minecraft so popular are still here: the building of worlds, the blocky graphics and the value of teamwork. What makes it different from the standard version is that it has a set of tools meant for a classroom setting. The Education Edition deals with various subjects such as art, engineering, history, languages, science and technology.
Here’s how a sample classroom usage might go: A teacher wants to let students learn about geometry. They can have children create different kinds of shapes which will help them learn associated concepts like area.
Where can it be downloaded?
Teachers who want to use Minecraft: Education Edition in their classrooms need to add the program to their Windows Store for Business. Here’s how:
- Go to the Minecraft: Education Edition site at http://education.minecraft.net then choose GET STARTED.
- Give your email address.
- Choose Get the app. You will be taken to the Windows Store for Business where you can download the app. An email will also be sent to you containing instructions along with a link to the Store.
- Use your email address to sign into the Store.
- Read the Service Agreement. After accepting the terms, click on Next.
- Choose Get the app when the program appears in the Store. Doing so adds the app to your Store’s inventory.
Once Minecraft: Education Edition is in your Store’s inventory, you can do the following:
- Install it on your PC
Make sure you’re signed into Windows Store for Business. Select Manage then Install.
- Assign it to others
Make sure you’re signed into Windows Store for Business. Select Manage. Choose Invite people. Enter the email addresses of your students then choose Assign. Your students will receive an email containing a link to an Office 365 page where they can make an account then install the app. This option works best for students who bring their own computers to school.
- Download it and distribute it to others
This option allows teachers to download the app for installation on the PCs of students. It’s differs from the previous option in that this one is best for shared computers.
Download the Minecraft Education Edition.zip file. Extract the files. Save the extracted contents into a USB drive. Find the InstallMinecraftEducationEdition.bat file and right-click on it then choose Run as administrator. A check will be performed on your PC and when it passes the test, the app will be installed automatically. Restart your computer once the installation is complete.
Is it good for schools?
Minecraft: Education Edition was launched with the goal of being used in the classroom. However, school teachers still need to find a way to create lessons that use the software effectively. In addition, the program isn’t free and needs to be run on a macOS or Windows 10 computer – these are machines that not every school has the budget for.