Minecraft is a jewel in Microsoft's entertainment crown. However, Redmond sees potential for the title beyond being one of the most popular games of all-time. Microsoft released Minecraft Education Edition in beta last month to unlock the teaching possibilities of the game. That pre-launch release has now scored a couple of new features.
The limited educators and academic institutions using Minecraft Education Edition now have Geometry World and Lessons add-ons. Geometry World is for students between the ages of 9 and 12. The feature allows children and educators to use the Minecraft environment to understand shapes and concepts:
“Created by Marco Vigelini & Alisia Arconi, this world and lesson plan walk students through opportunities to explore basic geometric concepts of area & perimeter. Have your students discover the relationships between these measures as they related to quadrilaterals and other shapes, and when finished, use the open space to build even more.”
Geometry World has eight assignments that encourage students to collaborate and think critically to make shapes. The game will set out perimeters for the students to create shapes. Once completed, students can use the open game world to create more shapes.
Whether Minecraft is the educational tool Microsoft believes, remains to be seen. The game helps engage students, and Microsoft thinks Minecraft Education Edition can promote collaboration, problem-solving, and creativity.
Microsoft has also made it possible for educators to submit lesson plans and worlds, even if they do not yet have access to the Education Edition. These submitted game worlds and lessons will not be useable in the regular Minecraft game, but will be ready for the full launch of Education Edition at the end of the summer.