Today, Microsoft has announced a new category for their Minecraft Marketplace--an Education category that includes educational worlds that can be played with family and friends.
With hundreds of millions of kids at home due to coronavirus-related school closures more kids are going online to spend time with their friends, explore online worlds and learn through play," said Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox. Families are trying to navigate the need to help their children with distance learning and balance that with taking time to have fun.
Players will able to choose from ten worlds chosen from the Minecraft Education Edition lessons, created by users such as Everbloom, Jigarbov, Lifeboat, Razzleberries, The World Foundry, Blockworks, and Imagiverse. Players will be able to explore concepts such as renewable energy, marine biology, Greek history, the International Space Station, famous Washington D.C. landmarks, and more. Players will be able to find and build "3D fractals" as well, which I'm sure everyone is super excited to hear. All of the worlds are available to download right now, and will be free to download until June 30, 2020.
Any player with Minecraft for Bedrock platforms (the newer version of Minecraft) will be able to find the worlds by launching the game and opening the in-game store. If you're curious about exploring these new worlds, you can get Minecraft via Android & iOS, Kindle Fire, Windows 10 PC, Gear VR, Oculus Rift, Fire TV, Xbox One, Windows MR, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4.
This is an interesting idea. Minecraft has always had potential as a teaching tool due to how easy it is to pick up and play. Everyone has played with Lego or blocks at one point or another and knows what to do with them, so a video game doing the same thing should be no surprise that it's a massive hit. To combine Minecraft with education seems like another no-brainer, because while maybe some of the hardcore audience has moved on after so long, a lot of kids still play it, making it an invaluable teaching aid if used appropriately. Plus, who doesn't want to see the International Space Station?
What do you think of this news? Are you interested in downloading this free content? Do you still play Minecraft? Let us know in the comments!