It has been less than a month since Microsoft rolled out the Beta testing phase of Minecraft: Education Edition which brought the instructional version of the game back to Chromebooks. With many schools gearing up to head back to the classroom or start non-traditional online sessions, Microsoft has made the Education Edition of Minecraft official and available for eligible users. As I pointed out in our previous report, this is not the same version of Minecraft that you’ll find in the Play Store for $6.99.
Minecraft: Education Edition
While very similar to the consumer version of Minecraft (Bedrock) that just just updated to version 1.16.20 a couple of days ago, the Education Edition features content and tools curated specifically for the classroom. The Minecraft: EE website offers scores of user-created “kits” that including resources, lesson plans, tutorials and tools to create your own Minecraft lessons. Students can learn to code and access a wide variety of STEM certified content. Teachers and administrators can even filter to find content that adheres to state-specific classroom standards.
Just to reiterate facts from our previous post, this version of Minecraft can only be used by eligible students via an Office 365 EDU account and the school must purchase a license for its students. Cost for Minecraft: EE is $5 per user, per year or schools can purchase a site-wide volume license from Microsoft of an eligible reseller. Students and teachers can take advantage of a free trial that will allow up to 25 sessions before requiring a license to continue. You can also download Minecraft: Education Edition for you Chromebook and play through a demo mode without an Office 365 EDU account.
Minecraft is a powerful tool for the classroom and teachers that take the time to leverage it can build rich learning environments for students. This move to bring the Education Edition to Chrome OS is a brilliant one for Microsoft. While Chromebooks are dominating the hardware space in schools, Microsoft has recognized the powerful potential that Minecraft offers. This move allows both companies to operate in the same space as educational partners instead of competitors. You can learn more about Minecraft: Education Edition and download the app on the official website below.