Minecraft Is Heading To The Classroom

The mega-popular game is releasing a special version designed for use in classrooms

A boy dressed as a Minecraft carrier walks to school — REUTERS
Jun 09, 2016 at 1:36 PM ET

The dream of many children is about to come true: Minecraft, the hugely popular world-building game, is coming to the classroom. After testing new edition in a pilot program, it will be available for schools around the world beginning in September, and will cost between $1 and $5 per student.

Purchased by Microsoft in 2014, the game has become a genuine obsession for many young kids since it first arrived in 2009. Its success is so rampant that it’s officially the second best-selling game of all time. The school-sanctioned version students will play shouldn’t differ too much from the one they play at home. Deirde Quarnstrom, who is heading up the project, told Fast Company:

“We’ve kept the game pretty pure; we want to have an authentic Minecraft experience. A lot of what creates that kind of magical educational experience is the no-rules sandbox environment. Students really feel inspired to keep going and create their own challenges, which is exactly what educators want to see.”

The classroom version will include a camera that allows students to create portfolios, chalkboards for instructions, starer worlds, and in-game characters who exist only to help players out. They’ll also offer teachers lessons in how to get the most out of Minecraft’s teaching opportunities. Since many kids will give anything to spend their free time lost in Minecraft’s imaginary worlds, harnessing its potential as a tool for learning could be a great way to get and keep students engaged.