Microsoft’s Minecraft: Education Edition; Utilizing Gaming Technology In Teaching, Is it Doable? [video]By yasi bilangel
Microsoft is providing teachers and students the Minecraft: Education Edition, a resource that uses gaming technology and serves as a teaching aid at the same time. The aim is to use the flexibility of the Minecraft game to simulate worlds designed to be a teaching tool.
For those unfamiliar with the game, Minecraft is a dig-and-build type of game to create 3D worlds with different kinds of terrains and habitats. The game is literally to "mine" and to "craft" using the Minecraft gamers' creativity and wit in collecting all kinds of tools to build a personalized world.
Microsoft in collaboration with Mojang, the developer of Minecraft, aims to provide schools a means to keep students interested in the lessons, while giving teachers an alternative way of teaching. In short, the Minecraft: Education Edition is a way of allowing kids to play video games, while learning in the process.
In the official website of Microsoft's Minecraft: Education Edition, it shows a huge blocky eye that allows students to view the inner structure and understand the intricate workings of the human eye. This is just one example of countless possibilities with a variety of tools for educators to manipulate in making their own worlds according to their lesson plans.
Other features of the game include the ability to pinpoint every student in the map, to provide them with varying resources and even to teleport Minecraft players into specific places. There are also in-game options like the camera and the chalkboard.
The Minecraft: Education Edition has big potential, but also its drawbacks. Would teachers be able to find the time to create intricate and complex worlds? Minecraft requires long hours before worlds can be completed.
Moreover, the success of the game relies on a community that shares worlds and resources. Would there be enough players who will contribute into the Minecraft virtual reality? If the Minecraft: Education Edition gets the approval of the bigger body of educators, it may revolutionize the way teaching is administered.
Microsoft has been working on the project since January to reach the target date of release, which is before the school opening according to The Verge. The company was unable to meet the set deadline and only released the education edition to schools last Tuesday, Nov. 1. The game is priced at $5 dollars per student for one year subscription.