Microsoft heralds new era of immersive learning experiences with general availability of Minecraft: Education Edition in Asia Pacific
Kuala Lumpur (1 November 2016) — Microsoft today announced the general availability of Minecraft: Education Edition, an open world game specifically designed for the classroom to promote creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving for 10 markets in Asia Pacific, including Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The full-release of the Education Edition includes a companion application called Classroom Mode enabling educators to manage world settings, communicate with students, give items, and teleport students in the Minecraft world. It displays a map view of the Minecraft world, a list of all the students in the world, a set of world management settings and a chat window. There is even a Minecraft clock to show time of day in the world. Classroom Mode offers educators the ability to interact with students and manage settings from a central user interface. It also offers a range of new, built-in lesson plans for educators to use across subjects and age levels and easy collaboration with up to 30 students to work together to build projects and solve problems.
The release comes after months of feedback from over 50,000 educators and students worldwide who gained early Beta access in June 2016.
According to the recently released Microsoft Asia EduTech Survey 2016, one in two educators wanted to make classroom learning experiences both immersive and fun through gamification and personalized learning. The use of Minecraft in the classroom enables educators to inspire their students in new ways, while mapping student activities to specific learning outcomes and curriculum standards.
Minecraft is one tool that has the power to transform learning on a global scale. By creating a virtual world and then exploring in it, students can simulate the real world. Younger students can learn digital citizenship, empathy, social skills and even improve their literacy. Older students can explore more complicated humanities questions, while also learning basic engineering and programming skills.
Don Carlson, Director – Education, Microsoft Asia Pacific, said, “Visit a classroom that’s using Minecraft, and you may be surprised to witness a focused kind of enthusiasm — students who are motivated to learn, who are engaged, confident, and working collaboratively to solve a problem. We want to empower educators and students to teach and learn through doing and exploring. While great technology can never replace great teaching, it is essential that schools have access to the right tools that will help drive the most effective learning, and prepare students for the workforce of the future.”
Minecraft: Education Edition will include new game features and the latest updates to Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition beta which will include user interface, leads and horses, additional player skins, pistons and the remainder of Redstone functionality.
The full version of Minecraft: Education Edition is now available for purchase by schools, colleges and universities for US$5 per user, per year.
For more information and resources on Minecraft: Education Edition, including lesson plans and a new Minecraft Mentors program, please visit education.minecraft.net.