May 2, 2017
Hello! We continue to be inspired by early adopters using Minecraft in their classrooms, and momentum continues to build. Classrooms in more than 100 countries have logged on to collaborate and create. We continue to add to Minecraft: Education Edition with feedback from the over 120,000 of you who have started your journey. Our professional learning community at education.minecraft.net now has over 30,000 profiles created and hundreds of educator-created lesson plans. Minecraft can be used to calculate slope, create Boolean logic gates, or even as a vehicle to teach empathy. Minecraft has a unique advantage that it reaches any student, as not only an open world game, but as a gateway to coding as well. The number one request we hear from educators is the importance of coding and computational thinking as essential for college and career readiness. Through our partnership with Code.org, we have seen over 50 million hours of code, showing the appetite for engaging and innovative ways to teach and learn coding.
Today, we are proud to announce Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition. Code Builder is a brand-new feature that allows educators and students to explore, create, and play in an immersive Minecraft world – all by writing code.
Connecting to learn-to-code packages like ScratchX, Tynker, and a new open source platform called Microsoft MakeCode, players start with familiar tools, templates and tutorials. And, Code.org will bring Code Studio to Code Builder later this year to support even more learning opportunities. “It allows for the students to still think about algorithms and how to solve problems, and they can demonstrate this with the Agent,” says Melissa Wrenchey, Educator at Tesla STEM High School. Click below for more about Melissa and her students’ experience with Code Builder.
Minecraft is first and foremost about our players. Later this Spring, we will launch the next update for Minecraft: Education Edition, version 1.0.1. This update includes Command Blocks, additional languages, texture pack support, villager trading, adventure mode, concrete and terracotta blocks, and - wait for it - llamas! We are also updating Classroom Mode for Minecraft: Education Edition with additional toggles to support teaching and learning. Educators can now manage chat, blocks that cause damage like lava and TNT, weather, and mobs.
And one more thing - Starting today, a one-year subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition will be included with qualifying purchases of Windows 10 computers and tablets, making it simpler to add Minecraft to your tools for classroom learning. For more information about this amazing offer, head to our offer page here. Starting today, you can join our open beta of Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition. Just head over to the education.minecraft.net download page. If you want to try Code Builder yourself, you can also head to any Microsoft Store starting today, where a demo experience awaits you. As always, we look forward to continuing this journey along with all of you and seeing how Minecraft is transforming how you teach and learn.
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