Microsoft announced Minecraft Education Edition earlier this year. The service puts a distinct Minecraft twist on learning with various modules and tools. In a new announcement, Microsoft has said that the service will come to the Windows Store in October. The company says this will be the full version of the game.
The service has been in beta since the summer. However, Microsoft will add a couple of new features to the game for its full launch.
Since buying Minecraft developer Mojang for $2 billion, Microsoft has always viewed the game as something more. Sure, continued hot sales figures and over a 100 million units sold is the basis for Microsoft's acquisition. Still, the company thinks it can build a whole ecosystem around Minecraft.
Minecraft Education Edition is proof of that belief. The service gives schools and educators a customized version of the game. Minecraft can be used to expand creative work and also encourage collaboration and teamwork.
Children may be more engaged creating an historical building as opposed to reading about it. Teacher can create maps and plans and let kids interact with them. Education Edition has some specific classroom oriented features.
New features announced for the full launch include Classroom Mode. Admins can now control an in-world environment where they can communicate with students remotely. This includes being able to share items and help in projects. All students and teachers can interact in the same map. Educators will see which students are in the class and have a dashboard to manage the game.
In July we wrote about Geometry World, another feature for Minecraft Education Edition. 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.
Educators can pick up the new Minecraft iteration in the Windows Store next month. It will cost $5 per user annually.