Microsoft has made available to educators a free trial download of their new Early Access trial version of Minecraft Education Edition software, supported on PCs running Windows 10 and Macs running OS X El Capitan. Once downloaded and installed, school users login using their district Microsoft Office 365 username and password (same as for login to Outlook email):
There’s no separate login for teacher or student (for now, anyway). To test special features for educators that will help them design and facilitate classroom experiences and projects using Minecraft Education Edition, one must “Import” and launch the tutorial file, “Summit_Tutorial.mcworld,” and play the game from there. Here’s where to get the tutorial and instructions.
Once in the tutorial world, you’ll see some of the new tools at Stage Four: Student Camera and Portfolio; Non Playable Character creation; Chalkboards and Posters; Allow/Deny/Border building blocks). Some special classroom project building blocks are included in the standard inventory (press E).
Here’s a selfie I took within the tutorial world with the “Camera” feature you’ll find there. Used with the “Portfolio” feature, students can document and export pictures of their adventures and game projects. And yes, I do look like that.
Kentucky Microsoft reps Tim Cornett and Chuck Jones say that more teacher features and resources may show up later in the playable demo.
KET’s Media Lab will make the transition from MinecraftEdu software to the new Minecraft Education Edition software as soon as it’s available. We’ll then continue to offer free introductory workshops for Kentucky teachers and students in the program to give educators an idea of how it works in a classroom/lab setting.
After the easy download and installation, our first tests of logging-in for online creation of a world and play went well. The generated world was as rich as one would expect and movement throughout was fluid and quick. There’s a list of Educator Resources, including downloadable tutorial world to use with the new user tutorial, and biome seed worlds with lesson plans as models. I found the tutorial world’s crafting bits rather confusing, but that’s me. Maybe it’ll be clearer for you.
For those Kentucky schools who have purchased and installed MinecraftEdu software and wish to know how to transition to the new Minecraft Education Edition, there’s a special MinecraftEdu email list. And, there’s a handy support page with lots of helpful information about the program, its installation, and use.
Minecraft Education Edition is off to a fine start. We’re looking forward to seeing the special teacher features and trying it out in our KET Media Lab.
Ms. Stephanie Perkins, 1st grade teacher at Johnson Elementary, Ft. Thomas Independent Schools, will be presenting on her use of MinecraftEdu to teach math concepts at the KET Multimedia PD Day on July 20 in Lexington. Watch the event information page for information about the live webcast of her session that we’re planning.