Following an extended period of test runs, and a beta version, Minecraft: Education Edition officially launches on November 1st. Once it goes live, it will require a $5 annual membership fee, but the early access version will remain free until the November release date.
According to the MinecraftEdu team, over 35,000 students and teachers around the world have been playing around in Minecraft’s sandbox since the program went live at the beginning of the summer. With the official release, the team has built out a few new education-focused features like a “Classroom Mode” that offers a top-down look at the Minecraft world via a companion app. In the app, teachers can manage world settings, talk to students in-game, give out items or teleport their kids around the map from a single interface. As the main Minecraft world evolves and gains new features, so will the education edition, and educators are encouraged to submit feature ideas and feedback.
Teachers who are interested in utilising Minecraft: Education Edition are encouraged to visit education.minecraft.net, where starter worlds, tutorials and lesson plans on a huge range of topics can be found. Minecraft: Education Edition will require OS X El Capitan or Windows 10, and an Office 365 account, which can be obtained for free.