As part of Microsoft’s event held earlier today, developer Mojang announced that Minecraft: Education Edition is getting new features. The educational version of the popular open-world game designed specifically for classroom use will be gaining a Code Builder feature, Command Blocks and other enhancements via an upcoming update due later this Spring.
With Code Builder, educators and students can explore, create and play in the Minecraft world, all by writing code. Students can connect to popular learn-to-code platforms: ScratchX, Tynker, Code.org and a brand new open source platform, called Microsoft MakeCode.
Check out Code Builder in the video presentation embedded below.
Players start with the familiar Minecraft tools, templates and tutorials, with additional resources at their disposal allowing them to easily engage with computer science concepts as they design and create.
Command Blocks and Classroom Mode
Command Blocks, a new feature, will be part of the upcoming Minecraft: Education Edition version 1.0.1 due later this Spring. That update will also bring out a few other perks, including additional languages, villager trading, adventure mode, concrete/terracotta blocks and llamas.
Lastly, Classroom Mode for Minecraft: Education Edition has been updated with additional toggles to support teaching and learning. The update gives educators additional toggles to manage chat and blocks that cause damage like lava and TNT, weather and mobs.
Microsoft says classrooms in more than a hundred countries have used the educational edition of Minecraft, with its professional learning community having created 30,000 profiles and hundreds of educator-created lesson plans.
Download Minecraft: Education Edition for Mac/Windows via education.minecraft.net, where you can also join an open beta of Code Builder if you’d like.
The software maker said that a one-year subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition is now included with qualifying purchases of Windows 10 computers and tablets.
The regular edition of Minecraft is gaining a Marketplace feature, basically an in-game store where players can buy Minecraft customizations made by independent developers.
Marketplace is coming via the version 1.1 Discovery Update.