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Microsoft owns Minecraft, so you can bet your left butt cheek that they’re going to be doing ALL THE STUFF with the franchise. We’ve already got Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition, but now we’re about to get another version.

Actually, schools are about to get another version.

Minecraft: Education Edition will be launching in our winter time. This new version will be aimed at teachers and classrooms, and will rely on teacher-community-generated worlds. So, for example, a teacher might link up her class and dump them all into a Minecraft world that has a recreation of the human digestive system. Or maybe an ancient Greek temple. You get the idea.

This new edition won’t fundamentally change the game, as Microsoft wants to keep it feeling like a game fist and foremost, but there will be some new features added to make the education process more streamlined. The map will be overhauled so that classes can find their way around worlds. They’re also adding a screenshot and scrapbook tool so that students can keep records of their learning in a particular world. Then, teachers will be able to set in-game resource materials for their students.

The cost of Minecraft: Education Edition will be $5 a student, and that copy will get tied to the student’s Microsoft Account, which means they can work at home if needs be by accessing their game via a home-based PC as opposed to the PC lab at school.

It’s a pretty exciting idea. We all know that you can use Minecraft to build heaps of objects, machines, buildings, and more. As an educational tool we guess it’s pretty endless. One concern is that the Education Edition is dependent on worlds constructed and shared by teachers; that could limit the practical application of this version by how productive the teacher community becomes. Microsoft has set up a website that will act as a home base for this community.

You can check out a promotional clip of the announcement below.

This isn’t the first time that Minecraft has been leveraged as an educational tool. A few months ago, to coincide with the annual Computer Science Education Week, Microsoft, Mojang, and Code.org put together an hour-long tutorial on Java programming that utilised a top-down version of Minecraft.

Via: The Verge