Minecraft Education Edition: why it's important for every fan of the game (2023)

At the densely crowded Bett show, a mammoth education technology conference taking up most of London’s ExCel venue, a vast audience has gathered to watch one particular demonstration.

It is Microsoft’s newly announced Minecraft: Education Edition, a special version of the hugely successful building sim, specifically customised for the classroom environment.

As the company representative highlights the main features, spectators photograph every single powerpoint slide. Behind the stage there’s a demo area with dozens of laptops running an early version of the new edition – all lined up on tables designed to resemble the game’s simple wooden blocks.

There is a constant throng of excitable children, all desperate to play. Minecraft is a big attraction and Microsoft knows it.

Just a week before Bett, the company announced that it had purchased MinecraftEDU, an educational version of the game, which was already being used in hundreds of schools all over the world. That product was designed and distributed by a small Finnish-American outfit, TeacherGaming, and while Microsoft says it won’t shut EDU down, the game won’t be receiving any new updates or support.

Minecraft: Education Edition will effectively be a replacement, developed in-house at Mojang in cooperation with a team at Microsoft’s Redmond campus. The new product features a complete version of Minecraft Windows 10 Edition, the refreshed version of the main game released as a beta last year, but adds extra functionality for teachers.

There is, for example, a better in-game map – now called the Locator Map – which, when a class is playing together in a shared Minecraft world, lets everyone see exactly where everyone else is and what they’re doing – handy for teachers who want to keep a close eye on wayward pupils.

(Video) What is Minecraft Education Edition: Everything You Must Know About It If You Are A Fan Of The Game

Also useful for guiding activities in the world are two new teacher-only controls: Build Deny and Build Allow. The former is an invisible block type that can be placed around a model to stop pupils modifying it – it’s designed to stop the sort of vandalising and trolling that can ruin multiplayer classroom building sessions.

It could also be used to restrain building projects, requiring students to work within more confined spaces and thereby think more carefully about construction space and impact.

The new game also adds a camera to the inventory. This allows children to quickly and easily take photos and videos of their projects, or even put the camera on a tripod to take selfies. Subsequent images are automatically placed in a zip file which downloads to their desktops – and to their teacher’s machine.

It is, according to Microsoft, more intuitive and adaptable than using the Print Screen function, and also allows teachers a better method of assessing student work.

Minecraft Education Edition: why it's important for every fan of the game (1)

So what will this work actually entail? Schools have already been using Minecraft for several years in a variety of projects. The game includes elements of building, farming, mining and engineering, so teachers have used it to explore everything from architecture and physics to ecology, sustainable agriculture and history.

During the Bett presentation, Microsoft showed how a school in Scotland got children to redesign Dundee’s waterfront area in Minecraft, while sixth grade pupils at a school in Seattle used the game to model a river and learn about its ecosystem by damming the flow in different locations.

“Some of the simulations we’ve seen are incredible,” says Deirdre Quarnstrom, who’s heading up the Education Edition project at Microsoft, after three years as chief of staff on Xbox. “We saw one school building a simulation of the great fire of London. Children were able to use TNT to blow up one of the houses in the middle to start the fire - it gave them the chance to see the enormity of it.


“One thing we often see is students building a representation of their school in Minecraft. They need to go out of the classroom, measure and estimate, and work out who’s going to build the cafeteria, the gym, the science lab … what materials they should use – it requires collaboration and a bunch of different skills, including maths, art and design.”

The aim with the Education Edition, she says, is to continue the work of MinecraftEDU, but to simplify the process and gradually add functionality. A key element is the fact that the new version features a more robust peer-to-peer server infrastructure, which means any laptop in the classroom can run an online Minecraft world that all the other students can join – the school doesn’t need to buy and maintain a dedicated server computer, which can be costly and complicated.

MinecraftEDU could use peer-to-peer networking as well but it wasn’t straightforward and without technical staff on-hand some teachers found it intimidating.

Microsoft has also set up a dedicated Minecraft Education website, where it is sharing projects and class plans, as well as educational maps, which can be downloaded to the classroom. Students can access the game using an Office 365 login, which means they’re also able to work on projects from home (it’s also possible to import and export map files between the Education and Windows 10 editions).

Minecraft Education Edition: why it's important for every fan of the game (2)

Microsoft is keen to stress you don’t need to log in through Office, but many schools already use the application and it means they don’t have to come up with a new bunch of passwords.

However, the mere mention of Office 365 implementation is sure to worry some Minecraft fans and industry observers, who have been twitchy about Microsoft’s plans for the game since the company’s $2.5bn purchase of Mojang in 2014.

There was a great deal of controversy last year when it was revealed that the Windows 10 Edition of Minecraft was written not in the accessible programming language Java, like the original version of Minecraft, but in C++.

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This made it compatible with the Pocket version of the game, which runs on smartphones and tablets, but – and this is important – made it incompatible with the absolutely vast collection of community-made mods, maps, skins and mini-games that have orbited Minecraft since its inception.

What concerns the community is that fans will no longer be able to make and share their own Minecraft modifications if the C++ version of the game completely replaces the Java version.

“I don’t think it’s far-fetched at all to speculate that Microsoft would like the Windows 10 C++ edition of Minecraft to supplant the current Java edition in the future, and there are reasons to both be excited and worried by this,” says experience modder Daniel Ratcliffe.

“For the PC Minecraft community, the biggest worry is compatibility between versions: right now, there is none. If Microsoft are smart, they’ll try to make worlds, resource packs, and skins created for the old version be loadable in the new, as these don’t involve actual code. But compatibility of current mods, which feature custom Java Code that changes the actual behaviour of Minecraft, is out of the question. Fundamentally, Java code that relies on the old codebase isn’t going to work against a new language.”

Conspiracy theorists suggest that Microsoft may be intentionally blocking community content so that it would be able to sell its own mods, maps and skins – as it has been able to do with the console versions of the game, which don’t easily support unofficial add-ons.

On the Minecraft forum on Reddit, reactions to the Windows 10 announcement were so vociferous that Mojang’s Tommaso Checchi had to wade in and assure fans that, although he thought it would be cool to have one unified version of the game, running in the C++ language (due to better performance and a common codebase), the company had no immediate plans to make that happen.

But here’s the interesting thing – Minecraft: Education Edition is also written in C++. This is the version of the game that’s going to be in classrooms around the world, and which may well become the way in which thousands of children first experience the game.

They won’t even have to buy it – they’ll be able to log into their school version from home. It’s clear that, although Microsoft may not be on the verge of phasing out the legacy Java version of the game, all its current thinking is toward C++.

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However, Quarnstrom is keen to stress that the community is going to be an important part of making Education Edition a success. Microsoft won’t be building all those maps and projects for its website – it’ll be relying on educators to upload their own experiments; including those who have spent years developing assets for the Java-based MinecraftEDU.

“We want to start bringing the community in. We have some great ideas, but we’ll never be able to beat the collective creativity of the community. Our goal is to create a world library. We had a site open before we really started talking about the product, and 5,000 people have registered already,” says Quarnstrom.

”We have great connections with the early adopters who were using MinecraftEDU in the classroom – we’ve been talking to them. We’re just trying to work out the right level of support and resources, we don’t want to just tell people how to play Minecraft, but we want to break down the barriers.”

Minecraft: Education Edition is launching this summer with a subscription fee of $5 a user. It looks like a well devised package offering plenty of classroom-specific functionality, without restraining creative freedom and with greater accessibility than MinecraftEDU. The children at Bett were quick to work with friends, setting up their own mini-servers and messing around on quick projects.

The project also provides an interesting test case for the entire future of Minecraft. It represents another C++ iteration of the game, and through its interaction with the Windows 10 edition is likely to become the main platform for a new generation of fans. However, Education Edition is also going to rely on a big community of users willing and able to start sharing their resources – and a lot of the key talent grew up on the Java game.

To move ahead without alienating a vast and highly engaged fanbase, Microsoft is going to have to build some kind of API (application program interface) that will give the game’s creative community access to the C++ versions of the game. “An officially supported API, if written properly, would have many advantages over the current system,” says Ratcliffe. “Mods would be easier to install, compatible between updates and platforms, and could be properly sandboxed, safely allowing things like mods that automatically download when you connect to servers. To achieve this, I imagine mods would written in some kind of scripting language, rather than C++ itself.”

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It will also have to think about a way to convert the gigantic back catalogue of fan-made maps, mini-games and skins onto the new platform – even if more complex mods written in Java would never be compatible.

With declines in other areas of its software business, Minecraft is a vital prize for Microsoft – but it is also a fragile one. “My dream would be to see an official marketplace for mods, browsable in-game or via the Microsoft Store,” says Ratcliffe about the move toward a unified C++ edition. “This would allow authors to make revenue from their mods and work on them full time, raising the quality of content. Microsoft would have to be careful, however: Valve were hit by a massive user backlash when they tried to build a similar system on Steam Workshop this summer.”

Clearly then, community is vital: what happens with Education Edition, the coalface of Microsoft’s engagement drive, should be keenly watched by all fans of the game.


What is special about Minecraft: Education Edition? ›

Minecraft: Education Edition has features built specifically for learning environments to support collaboration, assessment, coding, and more. Browse over 600 standards-aligned lessons to engage students across the curriculum. You can even write and submit your own Minecraft lessons!

What are the benefits of Minecraft? ›

As far as non-violent, educational games go, Minecraft is arguably one of the best. It can teach kids the fundamentals of programming skills, teamwork, problem-solving, project management, and offers a fantastic environment to foster creativity and “out of the box” thinking.

Is Minecraft: Education Edition a good game? ›

Bottom Line: An excellent tool to engage students in learning, collaboration, and critical thinking is now more accessible than ever to teachers.

Is Minecraft education better than Minecraft? ›

While the original game allows for free exploration and plays like a traditional game, Minecraft: Education Edition is more of a platform for learning that is based on the popular game. Kids playing this edition of Minecraft can learn a variety of coding, math, and problem-solving skills.

Is there end in Minecraft: Education Edition? ›

It can only be found in the portal room of a stronghold. In Survival mode, the player must venture... An end portal is a naturally occurring generated structure that is used to travel into the End. It can only be found in the portal room of a stronghold.

What skills can Minecraft teach you? ›

According to Minecraft Education Edition, teachers using Minecraft as an educational tool found “significant improvements in creativity, collaboration, problem-solving, and computational thinking skills” in their students. 98% of teachers said that problem solving was the top skill that students were able to take away.

What is the real purpose of Minecraft? ›

In Survival mode, the goal…is to survive. Players appear in a new world and are challenged to use its resources to build shelter, find food, and craft tools to help them construct the universe they want to live in.

Why do kids love Minecraft? ›

Kids like watching people play Minecraft for a variety of reasons: to learn new techniques; enjoy others' skills; keep up with the latest news; and feel like part of a community.

What age is Minecraft education for? ›

Minecraft Education Edition is a game-based learning interactive tool that can be used in grades K-12. Through Minecraft Education Edition teachers and educators can create their own lesson plans correlating directly to the curriculum in their school.

Is Minecraft education only for schools? ›

Are home schools eligible? Minecraft: Education Edition is available for anyone to purchase.

Is Minecraft: Education Edition better than Bedrock? ›

In fact, there are tons of new features in Education Edition that are not in Bedrock Edition, and players also have to remember that Bedrock Edition is used to play Minecraft with the main goal of beating it, while Education Edition is mostly used for collaborative projects and learning rather than playing for fun.

Is Minecraft more educational than Roblox? ›

Both games can teach the rudiments of computer coding (Minecraft uses a Minecraft-adapted Java, and Roblox runs the Lua programming language), though Minecraft has the edge when it comes to being education-friendly. They also both promote math skills, thinking and reasoning, problem-solving, and collaboration.

Is Minecraft education violent? ›

It also has Interactive Elements for Users Interact (meaning players can communicate online if they choose) and In-Game Purchases (meaning the game offers the ability to exchange real-world currency for in-game currency or items). Minecraft does not have violent or gory content in-game.

Can adults play Minecraft: Education Edition? ›

Minecraft Education Edition is available for anyone with a valid O365 EDU account on Windows, Mac and iPad.

How do you make a portal to heaven in Minecraft: Education Edition? ›

Minecraft Pe How To Make A Portal To Heaven - YouTube

How do you make the Ender dragon portal in Minecraft: Education Edition? ›

To do this, you simply need to add the 12 Eyes of Ender. Add the Ender Eyes inside each of the end portal frame blocks by standing in the middle of the portal. However, you don't have to add the 12th one as you stand in the middle. This is because it will activate the End Portal and transport you to the End biome.

How many people can be in a Minecraft: Education Edition world? ›

A single multiplayer game can host a maximum of 30 players, and can connect players across all supported platforms. All players will need to be running the same version of Page 2 Minecraft: Education Edition to be able to host and join worlds together.

How do you make a gun in Minecraft: Education Edition? ›

To easily make a gun in Minecraft, gather a dispenser, 3 redstone, 4 redstone torches, a lever, and arrows. Place your dispenser on the ground and a redstone dust behind it, with 2 blocks behind the redstone dust.

How do you make a ghost block in Minecraft: Education Edition? ›

How To Get Ghost Blocks in MCPE 1.17! - Minecraft Bedrock Edition ...

How do you make a blue glow stick in Minecraft: Education Edition? ›

Once players have their dye and compounds, they can enter the crafting menu of a crafting table and create glow sticks by placing their dye in the center slot, their Polyethylene on the left and right vertical columns' slots, Luminol in the bottom-center slot, and their Hydrogen Peroxide in the top-center slot.

What is the most important thing to have in Minecraft? ›

The pickaxe is the most vital tool in Minecraft. Without it, you won't be able to mine most of the crafting materials in the game. So one of the first things you must build when starting a new world is a wooden pickaxe.

How does Minecraft make you smarter? ›

Studies have found evidence that video games can increase processing speed, cognitive flexibility, working memory, social skills, and problem-solving skills. The bottom line: it's absolutely possible to develop important cognitive skills while having fun playing Minecraft.

What is the most helpful thing in Minecraft? ›

Crafting tables have been an important item since survival mode was introduced, and they are, without a doubt, the most useful item in Minecraft.

Why is Minecraft so addicting? ›

Minecraft Gives A Feeling Of Curiosity And Risk

Some people strive to replace real-life experiences and events with online ones. In fact, so much so that these people do not even realize how addicted they have become.

What do people like about Minecraft? ›

They can go slay a dragon, build a castle, hunt for fish, mine caves — all in one area. As a sandbox-genre game, Minecraft tickles kids' ability to imagine, create, and think themselves out of situations that most feature-specific games don't.

Does Minecraft have bosses? ›

In Minecraft, there are two bosses: the "main" and final big boss of the game, the Ender Dragon, and a "side" boss: the Wither. Minecraft: Story Mode and Minecraft Dungeons have additional bosses. Elder Guardians were referred to as a "boss" one time by Mojang staff.

Why do parents love Minecraft? ›

A lot of parents are especially happy to spend time and money on Minecraft for their kids because they see it as a teaching tool. Minecraft can educate kids about architecture, and players can use something called redstone circuits to create simple mechanical devices, even entire computers, out of Minecraft blocks.

Is Minecraft OK for 3 year olds? ›

Some recommend players be at least 8 years old, while others recommend age 10. The Entertainment Software Rating Board gives Minecraft a rating of Everyone 10+. This is the American rating system. Parents should look at the game for themselves to determine what age they deem appropriate for their children.

Why is Minecraft so addictive to kids? ›

The game involves several features that can make it addictive, including: The social aspect of the game allows you to play with other people and make new friends. The game is very immersive.

Is Minecraft a horror game? ›

Not unless you make it. You can add mods(modifications) to the game to make it a horror but normal Minecraft isn't a horror. Cave ambience is terrifying but there is nothing in cave that are actually disturbing or scary.

Is Minecraft Edu 4 year old? ›

Minecraft can offer your children a creative platform where they can learn not only a new hobby but also develop their educational, life, and social skills. Minecraft is typically recommended for kids over the age of 7+ as it is not a very violent game and is easy to understand.

Is Minecraft chat safe? ›

No private messaging.

Minecraft no longer has private messaging in online play, just to make it easier and more effective to monitor for inappropriate chat between players. This means your child never has to worry about receiving an unwanted message directed at them.

Is Minecraft education real? ›

Minecraft: Education Edition is a version of Minecraft designed for education in a classroom setting. Education Edition allows teachers to offer a fun and interactive lesson for their students through playing the game of Minecraft.

Does Minecraft: Education Edition have warden? ›

How to get 'THE WARDEN' - Minecraft Education 1.18 - YouTube

Which country is Minecraft allowed in school? ›

The idea stems from a national school competition called “Future City,” where classes around Sweden were invited to submit proposals on how to make things better in the future. The teachers at the Viktor Rydberg school, however, went a step further and made Minecraft compulsory.

Is Minecraft better than Roblox? ›

In particular, Roblox is set up for exactly this. Though, we'd say that due to the programming language used and the interface, it's not the most optimal for children learning to code or developing their skills. Minecraft is top-notch when it comes to mods, especially for younger players.

Is 1.18 in Minecraft: Education Edition? ›

10.04 is the first beta version for the Education Edition Mobile, Multiplayer & More, released on February 24, 2022. The update brought the Caves & Cliffs: Part II features to Education Edition.

Is Java better or Bedrock? ›

Java Edition can create custom fonts and GLSL shaders, while Bedrock cannot. Bedrock Edition can create custom particles and fogs, while Java cannot. One major difference that tends to be forgotten is the type of platform players of different versions use.

Which is safer for kids Roblox or Minecraft? ›

Your choice of platform depends on which of these options you choose. If you're concerned with who your child interacts with online, Minecraft is a better choice. While Roblox actively polices its content and forums, that does not mean they can guarantee an experience that is free of content problems.

Is Roblox copying Minecraft? ›

Did Roblox copy Minecraft? No. There are several reasons that this is the case. The first (and most obvious) is that Roblox was released in 2006, three years before Minecraft was first released in 2009.

Is Minecraft OK for my 6 year old? ›

Minecraft has been rated as suitable for 7+ up to 13+ depending on which version of the game you are playing. Children aren't asked for proof of age when they sign up.

Is Minecraft safe for a 7 year old? ›

Is Minecraft suitable for 7-year olds? Minecraft is rated 7+, meaning that the game is recommended for children from the age of 7 upwards. The PEGI system classifies a 7+ rating as a game that “contains non-realistic looking violence towards fantasy characters (…) that could be upsetting to very young children.”

Is Minecraft 1.19 out? ›

1.19, the first release of The Wild Update, is a major update to Java Edition, released on June 7, 2022. The update was first announced on October 16, 2021, during Minecraft Live 2021.

Is Minecraft Education popular? ›

Game-based learning continues to be a very popular teaching tool, and with good reason. The gaming nature makes it immediately appealing and engaging for students, especially so for Minecraft, which is played by children around the world, with the Education Edition played in more than 115 countries.

How long can you use Minecraft: Education Edition? ›

How long does this Minecraft: Education Edition offer subscription last? The Minecraft: Education Edition offer subscription will last one year once redeemed. It may take up to 10 days to process an application.

How can my friend join my Minecraft education world? ›

Click Play on the Home screen and then click Join World. Enter the Join Code for the world you want to join by clicking on each picture in order. If a student enters incorrect join codes repeatedly, they'll get a warning after 3 failed attempts.

How much RAM do you need for Minecraft: Education Edition? ›

The Minecraft: Education Edition app runs on all Chromebooks that support Android apps. We recommend: At least 4 GB of RAM. Hard Drive: Minimum of ~500 MB free per user on the device (1 GB recommended)

› School-Age Kids ›

Kids playing this edition of Minecraft can learn a variety of coding, math, and problem-solving skills.
What the Minecraft: Education Edition does, over the regular version, is offer special features for teachers that allow them to control the virtual world their ...

Is Minecraft educational?

https://www.quora.com › Is-Minecraft-educational
https://www.quora.com › Is-Minecraft-educational
On top of the basics already mentioned, it can also be a tool for teaching computer logic, using the Redstone mechanic. I have learned about logic gates, and T ...

Are there diamonds in Minecraft: Education Edition? ›

Students can light the nether portal. In nether they can find room number 1 with 4 diamonds. Students communicate by minecraft chat. Before the time is up team leaders ensure that their team members have passed them obtained diamonds.

What age is Minecraft education for? ›

Minecraft Education Edition is a game-based learning interactive tool that can be used in grades K-12. Through Minecraft Education Edition teachers and educators can create their own lesson plans correlating directly to the curriculum in their school.

What version of Minecraft is Education Edition 2022? ›

Windows 7 Users: While Minecraft: Education Edition version 1.18 supports Windows 7, starting in December 2022, you will need to be using Windows 8 or newer to ensure Minecraft: Education Edition works correctly on your Windows device.

Can you speedrun Minecraft: Education Edition? ›

No it's not allowed its like a mod that gives an advantage and any mods or stuff that give an advantage the reason I call this a mod is because education is not a automatic Minecraft world setting.

Does TNT destroy diamonds? ›

The big “NO/NO” is you will probably destroy/ruin the diamonds due to the explosions/blasts. Though diamonds are sturdy, they can easily be taken apart along the 4 planes of each using TNT or something equal or greater.

What Y cord is diamond? ›

Diamond starts generating at Y=15, and increases linearly in frequency the further down you go. To know what Y-Level you're on, hit F3 to bring up the coordinates display. The second number next to "XYZ" is the current level of the bottom half of your body.

How do you get a dirty diamond in Minecraft? ›

Dirt Diamonds in Minecraft! - YouTube

Is Minecraft a horror game? ›

Not unless you make it. You can add mods(modifications) to the game to make it a horror but normal Minecraft isn't a horror. Cave ambience is terrifying but there is nothing in cave that are actually disturbing or scary.

Is Minecraft Edu 4 year old? ›

Minecraft can offer your children a creative platform where they can learn not only a new hobby but also develop their educational, life, and social skills. Minecraft is typically recommended for kids over the age of 7+ as it is not a very violent game and is easy to understand.

Is Minecraft OK for a 7 year old? ›

What is the right age to start playing Minecraft? Because of its complexity, potential for mild violence, and online community, we recommend Minecraft for kids age 8 and up.

Has Minecraft 1.19 been released? ›

1.19, the first release of The Wild Update, is a major update to Java Edition, released on June 7, 2022. The update was first announced on October 16, 2021, during Minecraft Live 2021.

Can you get 1.18 on Minecraft: Education Edition? ›

Welcome to the Minecraft: Education Edition beta. We're excited to help you get going! This article has platform-specific guidance for installing the beta onto your device. Our current beta version is the same as our generally available release, which is version 1.18.

Is Minecraft 1.18 out on Minecraft: Education Edition? ›

10.04 is the first beta version for the Education Edition Mobile, Multiplayer & More, released on February 24, 2022.

Did Dream fake his speedrun in Minecraft? ›

due to the way I reacted to the mods and perceived everything going on I was convinced that they were out to get me," Dream wrote. "After considering this, I ended up finding out that I HAD actually been using a disallowed modification during ~6 of my livestreams on Twitch," he continued.

Can you beat Minecraft in peaceful mode? ›

Can you beat Minecraft in Peaceful Mode? - YouTube

How do I beat Minecraft? ›

Being a sandbox game, there is no true end to Minecraft. However, it is generally accepted you 'complete' the game upon killing the ender dragon.

› wiki › Education_Edition ›

Minecraft: Education Edition is an educational edition of Minecraft specifically designed for classroom use. It is being developed by Mojang Studios and Xbox Ga...
In this episode of OMGcraft, Chad takes a look at Minecraft Education Edition, which allows Schools and Teachers to use Minecraft as teaching aids in classro...


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