There’s no denying the fact that video games get a bad rap, both in pointed research topics and accusatory news articles alike. But did you know that there are also studies out there that prove that the interactive experiences are actually good for you? In fact, a lot of games are known to improve cognitive reasoning in one way or another, while others teach players about a variety of topics. Minecraft, for instance, promotes skills in math, physics, history, language arts, and even geology. To further enhance the excellent learning possibilities, Microsoft and Mojang announced Minecraft: Education Edition earlier today.
The “expanded” version of the sandbox title is based on the MinecraftEdu program, which has been in existence since 2011. Since its release, classrooms in over 40 countries have used the program to alter and enhance curriculums, and ultimately harness a fun and inventive way of engaging students.
“In education, we are constantly seeking pathways to explore learning beyond the confines of a textbook. Minecraft allows us that opportunity,” said Rafranz Davis, Executive Director of Professional Development and Learning, Lufkin ISD. “When we see our kids enjoying the process of learning in this way, it’s a game changer.”
The release will include the following features:
- Enhanced maps with coordinates for students and teachers to find their way around the Minecraft world together.
- Student Portfolio feature, where students can take photos and selfies to show their work and learning.
- Enhanced multiplayer, where a classroom of up to 40 students can work together toward a greater world in Minecraft.
- Login and personalization, where students have personalized avatars and feel more engaged in the game and teachers can know who each player is.
- World import and export, where teachers and students can create and save their worlds in the game.
The game will be launching this summer. According to the FAQ on Minecraft: Education Edition’s brand new site, you’ll be a few clicks away from running the program if your school district already uses Office 365. If not, signing up for an Office 365 ProPlus Benefit subscription is another free and easy option.
Will you be trying this out? Let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Mojang