Microsoft today released a free trial of Minecraft Education Edition – the version of Minecraft meant for use in the classroom – to educators worldwide. This “early access” version of the program includes new features and updated classroom content and curriculum.
For those unfamiliar with the Education Edition, the idea is to bring the world of Minecraft to the classroom to be used as a learning tool where pupils can develop skills in areas like digital citizenship, empathy, literacy, and more. They can use the software as part of a coding camp, study science, learn about city planning, or they can study history by re-creating historic landscapes and events in the program.
Up to 30 pupils from a classroom can play in a world together, without the need for a separate server, and they can work together or in groups. In a future release, Microsoft will launch a “Classroom Mode” interface for teachers that offers a map and list view of all their students, teleport capabilities, and a chat window for communication.