Here is the announcement from Minecraft’s maker, Mojang:
Arriving this summer, the new title aims to reach more educators around the world with a richer set of features and a thriving community.
At its core, Minecraft is an open world that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem solving. It’s enjoyed by a worldwide community of over 100 million players who constantly inspire us with their creations.
Many of the skills required to enjoy Minecraft to its fullest are important to educators who might be searching for inventive ways to engage their students. By bringing Minecraft into the classroom, we are empowering educators and students to teach and learn through building and exploring within a fun, familiar environment.
We’ve already seen it transform classrooms and curriculum. Since 2011, MinecraftEDU from TeacherGaming LLC from Finland – a version of Minecraft built especially for the classroom – has reached thousands of classrooms in more than 40 countries around the world, all reporting wild success. We don’t want to stop there. We believe this is just the beginning.
Today, we’re excited to announce Microsoft is acquiring MinecraftEdu and investing in a new and expanded version of Minecraft for the classroom called Minecraft: Education Edition. This new title – available as a free trial this summer – will build on the learnings from MinecraftEdu while offering an expanded set of features. And in support of MinecraftEdu customers, they can continue to use MinecraftEdu and we will offer the first year of Minecraft: Education Edition for free.
In the spirit of the Minecraft community, we are dedicated to making sure Minecraft: Education Edition is shaped in the coming months by a growing community of educators online at education.minecraft.net. We’re also excited to also share that these community pages will host a variety of resources like lesson plans and a new Minecraft Mentors page that allows educators experienced in Minecraft to connect with those interested in trying it for the first time.
“One of the reasons Minecraft fits so well in the classroom is because it’s a common, creative playground,” said Vu Bui, COO of Mojang. “We’ve seen that Minecraft transcends the differences in teaching and learning styles and education systems around the world. It’s an open space where people can come together and build a lesson around nearly anything.”
Since the introduction of Minecraft to the classroom, educators around the world have been using Minecraft to effectively teach students everything from STEM subjects to art and poetry. It’s this versatility that excites many educators about the potential.
“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.”
For more information about Minecraft: Education Edition check out our FAQ at education.minecraft.net and sign up to be a part of our educator community.