Microsoft acquires education-focused version of 'Minecraft'

By Shawn Knight
Jan 19, 2016
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  1. Microsoft is doubling down on its Minecraft education initiative. The Redmond-based company on Tuesday announced it has acquired MinecraftEdu, a version of the game designed specifically for use in the classroom.

    MinecraftEdu was created by Teacher Gaming, a startup co-founded by former computer teacher Joel Levin. His company licensed Minecraft from Mojang, the Swedish game developer that programmer Markus "Notch" Persson created to launch the game.

    If you recall, Microsoft scooped up Mojang in 2014 to the tune of $2.5 billion; the company didn't disclose how much it paid for MinecraftEdu. We do know that Minecraft is quite popular in schools with more than 7,000 classrooms across 40+ countries already using it for teaching purposes.

    With the acquisition, Microsoft is investing in a new and expanded version of the game for the classroom called Minecraft Education Edition. The company said it plans to charge $5 per user, per year but will offer a free trial this summer. Conversely, Teacher Gaming charged a server license fee and a one-time fee based on the maximum number of students that would be using it at any given time.

    Microsoft has already launched a website for Minecraft Education Edition where teachers and educators can access a wealth of resources including starter lesson plans, forums, check out frequently asked questions and more.

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  2. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,528   +831

    Using minecraft for education wont make learning more fun. It will make minecraft more boring to the kids. If you push minecraft for education, you will lose sales for minecraft for recreation.
  3. seefizzle

    seefizzle TS Addict Posts: 270   +138

    My son, (7 years old) participated in the '1 hour of code' event last month. They used a minecraft coding project to introduce the elementary students to coding. The kids loved it. I'm not sure if your assumption is accurate.

    You're thinking like an adult. You have to think like a child. You cannot put a child in front of a page full of source code and expect them to sit there for longer than 30 seconds. Kids don't have that kind of attentions pan. If you put them in front of something that looks like minecraft with drag and drop instructions... suddenly they want to figure out how to get the little guy to kill the pig.

    The website they used in that class was
  4. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,528   +831

    I'm thinking like an American kid. Once the school system picks up on something to integrate to be all cool and hip, half the kids will instantly dismiss it as lame and a waste of time. Especially where you take a sandbox game like minecraft (which yes, I do play, judge me) and force the players to do very specific things in it. I suppose only time will tell though.
  5. mgwerner

    mgwerner TS Enthusiast Posts: 32   +24

    That is an American kid problem, not a business model problem. Your description of the attitude of American kids is why I left American education and now teach in China. And we use Minecraft Education. And the students go from there to coding in Fortune 500 companies, after further education in university.
    Learn how to make polite conversation in Chinese, since they will be your boss one day. American kids are spoiled, and want to be entertained, as you indicate. Other countries' children want to be successful. Like American kids did in the 50s and 60s. You can thank teacher unions and Democrats for the change.

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