Microsoft has recently acquired the MinecraftEdu mod for Minecraft game, which sole purpose was to be used for educational purposes in school and at home. The education potential behind Minecraft was one of the reasons Microsoft acquired the game in the first place.
Now the TeacherGaming team behind MinecraftEdu is part of Microsoft, it can achieve its purpose faster and deliver it much cheaper.
The purpose of the Minecraft Educational Edition is to allow students to explore different places, historical monuments, ancient cities, all recreated accurately, and learn from them.
The game went through minor optimizations, which include better mapping, in-game camera and a scrapbook for screenshots. Everything else is the same - Microsoft says while it wants to make it an educational too, it's still a game and will be keep the fun factor.
Microsoft is launching a platform, where teachers could submit lessons (Minecraft worlds) and download such. The company won't be building the places, it wants to rely on a wide contributing community of schools, students and teacher. Hopefully this pans out in time.
The Edu edition of Minecraft will cost $5 per student in school and each registered student will be able to play the game at home as well upon logging with the same account.
You can learn more about the initiative here.
It's a really effective learning tool, especially for kids with special needs
something acquired by microsoft will be destroyed soon. like they did with nokia, then destroyed meego and replace it with crappy windows phone os. maybe they will destroy minecraft soon, then replace it with new version of Solitaire.
there is learning in playing.