Microsoft’s Minecraft has been a popular game since its launch in 2009. The game has sold 22 million copies and is one of the best-selling PC games. The game started getting the attention of children when it launched its mobile version. The tech giant is now planning to launch the game in the education market. Microsoft plans to release MinecraftEdu this summer. It is a modified version of the game which has been altered for classroom use.
MinecraftEdu was developed by TeacherGaming which is a start-up that will be acquired by Microsoft. A version of the game is currently used in approximately 7,000 classrooms in over 40 countries around the world. There are quite a few additions to the original game and optional Minecraft servers will also enable teachers to play the game along with the students. At a time when video games are becoming the go-to tool for teachers who are technically inclined and want to engage their students, this game is just perfect for them.
Microsoft is planning to rebrand the game as Minecraft: Education Edition which is on the similar lines of Apple and Google’s branding. The game will be available for school at $5 per student annually. Microsoft is also trying to come up with a per-school licensing fees for larger educational institutions.
Joel Levin, co-founder of TeacherGaming LLC says that one of the biggest hurdles for Microsoft in selling MinecraftEdu is “getting teachers over the fear factor of using a tool in the classroom that kids are more familiar with than they are. They feel like the student.”Microsoft has resorted to promote the game through Teacher conventions instead of using the usual marketing methods.
MinecraftEdu has the ability to hone an array of skills among children which includes critical thinking, geometry and teamwork. With the launch of MinecraftEdu, Microsoft’s endeavors to encourage the use of technology in students is commendable.