Microsoft on Tuesday announced its acquisition of MinecraftEDU, one of the building blocks for its upcoming Minecraft: Education Edition.
MinecraftEDU, developed by Teacher Gaming, launched in 2011 as a version of Minecraft enhanced for the classroom.
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Minecraft: Education Edition can assist in teaching all subjects, ranging from math and physics to history and language, Microsoft said.
“There is no limit to what students can learn in the game, and no limit to how the game can extend classroom learning,” the company pointed out. “Minecraft players also develop skills in collaboration, problem solving, communication, digital citizenship, and much more.”
When Microsoft purchased Minecraft studio Mojang, critics expressed pessimism over the purchase, reasoning that it had reached or was near its peak, recalled Roger Entner, principal analyst for Recon Analytics.
Microsoft’s response was to drive the game deeper into education, and that was a smart move, he said.
“Minecraft is already a huge success,” Entner told TechNewsWorld. “Making it more educational is a great thing. It makes it easier for parents to agree with it. We learn better when it’s wrapped into a game. That’s just the fact of it.”
MinecraftEDU already has made it into more than 7,000 classrooms in 40 countries, Microsoft noted.
My 2 cents:
“Digital citizenship”, a term that will be central to the core curriculum of an incoming generation. Odds are our children will grow into a truly frontier-less world where the lines between one’s digital persona and true self are blurred into near non-existence. MinecraftEDU is a symbolic recognition that the future of education lies in collaborative digital spaces as opposed to crowded lecture rooms.