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Nov 03, 2016 12:58 PM EDT

Microsoft’s new Minecraft: Education Edition Now Available for Schools

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Microsoft has launched the school-oriented "Minecraft: Education Edition." It's now available for purchase in 11 languages, and is offered to 50 countries all around the world.

Minecraft: Education Edition is not at all from the regular version that players know, reports The Verge. It's basically the same game, with added tools that teachers can take advantage of, such as a tool that shows where students are in a map, the ability to offer items to students and teleport them pretty much anywhere. There's also an in-game chalkboard.

Microsoft's Hopes

Microsoft hopes that teachers will be able to use the game to effectively engage their students while teaching them various subjects such as geometry, fractions, and deforestation. In a press release, Microsoft said teachers new to the game can find tutorials, lesson plans, and a place where teachers can collaborate, in education.minecraft.net.

Although the game allows teachers to build their own worlds that correspond with their specific lessons, such as historical places or other topics that have need of a specific design, the problem is that creating these worlds consume large amounts of time, even for experienced players. Of course, if the teachers are new to the game, it would even take longer, which means using the game for every lesson would be impractical.

One of the means by which Microsoft aims to help teachers new to the game learn how to use it faster and more effectively is through what is called the "Minecraft Mentors" program. Microsoft wants to connect new users to other teachers who have experienced using the game to teach. These experienced teachers were included among the 50,000 students and educators who participated in the early access program which was meant to provide feedback used to develop the game.

Microsoft will be continually updating the game to include the same updates the other game versions have. It currently has the latest updates to "Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition" which features leads and horses, new player skins, and an updated user interface.

Minecraft: Education Edition is now available for $5 per user per year.

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