July 10, 2019 | Back to School, ISTE
Minecraft has proven to be an inclusive learning tool since teachers first started using the game in their classrooms, helping students develop communication and collaboration skills in a familiar, fun, digital environment. Educators say Minecraft: Education Edition empowers them to meet students where they are, and encourages learners’ confidence. “I think the greatest value that a product like Minecraft brings to any school district is that it breaks the monotony and routines that can happen in a school environment,” explains Bobby Blount, Chief Technology Officer for Cherokee Country Schools. “It speaks to kids on their level.”
We have been collecting feedback from our educator community, and are delighted to announce a new set of features to further support student-centered learning and enhance the classroom experience for Back to School 2019!
Immersive Reader will be integrated into Minecraft: Education Edition to support learners in reading or translating in-game text, including character dialogue, settings and boards, with Minecraft-specific images added to the Picture Dictionary such as ‘Creeper’ and ‘Mooshroom’.
We are adding a Single Sign-on (SSO) option to allow for one-click authentication, making for a simplified and faster class login experience, especially for younger students. A new user interface will support educators, especially those new to Minecraft. Students will have more options for exporting their work for assessment, including as PDF. And, perhaps most excitingly, we are improving the multiplayer experience with shareable join codes, so students and teachers can control who enters their worlds!
For educators and students new to Minecraft: Education Edition, we are expanding our training programs and in-game tutorials. Online professional development will launch this Fall on the Microsoft Educator Community platform; educators globally will be able to access these trainings for free. A ‘First Lesson Kit’ will help educators new to Minecraft teach their first lesson, complete with simple game tutorials, lesson templates and classroom management tips from other teachers. Finally, we will be sharing a new set of Minecraft tutorial worlds in the World Library for Back to School.
We are thrilled to bring an improved classroom experience to our educator community! Stay tuned for updates by following us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and signing up for our monthly newsletter.
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