What you need to know
- Minecraft: Education Edition combines the creative gaming joys of Minecraft with knowledge to become a powerful educational tool.
- With the Mobile Update, the Education Edition is finally coming to Android and iOS platforms, alongside many other changes.
- The Render Dragon engine brings improved performance, multiplayer is easier to join, and in-game coding has been improved.
- Finally, 1.18 "Caves & Cliffs Update Part Two" also comes to Minecraft: Education Edition with this release.
It's a good day for educators everywhere, as Mojang Studios' popular and capable educational tool based off Minecraft is enjoying a ton of major improvements and new features today. The Minecraft: Education Edition Mobile Update expands the education-focused version of the popular creative survival game to Android and iOS platforms, on top of a host of other improvements.
Minecraft: Education Edition is used by hundreds of institutions and educators all over the world to help teach children in all manner of topics through the medium of Minecraft. On Wednesday, Mojang Studios began releasing the Mobile Update to all users, and it's a major release that should excite educators and children alike.
Some of the headlining features of Minecraft: Education Edition Mobile Update include:
- Availability on Android and iOS platforms. For the first time, Minecraft: Education Edition is available on Android and iOS platforms, massively expanding its potential userbase. The tool features a variety of optimizations and settings to ensure it runs and looks great on smaller devices, and is compatible with a wide range of iPhones, Android phones, and Android tablets.
- Minecraft 1.18 "Caves & Cliffs Update Part Two." The Mobile Update also includes all the features and changes included within 2021's latter Minecraft content updates, the second half of the Caves & Cliffs Update. This means greatly improved world generation for mountains, caves, and other terrains, as well as increased world height and depth.
- Improved in-game coding. Minecraft: Education Edition can be used to teach children how to code, and it's being improved in the Mobile Update. In-game coding is now available to all users, and features a ton of new improvements to help children learn how to code, including improved accessibility for tutorials and information.
- Improved multiplayer. Minecraft: Education Edition is removing some of the barriers for multiplayer, a staple for vanilla Minecraft versions. This should make it easier for educators to gather all of their children in the same Education Edition spaces, with few manual configurations required to make it all work.
- Improved graphics performance. Minecraft: Bedrock Edition, the universal version of Minecraft that spans platforms and ecosystems, is powered by the flexible and modern Render Dragon engine. Starting with the Mobile Update, the Education Edition is powered by the same. Users should observe improved performance after the update, especially on lower-powered devices common in education.
- New NPC skins. Educators and creators building new educational content for Minecraft: Education Edition now have an additional 20 NPC skins with which they can design their worlds. The new skins are divided across agriculture, business, and kiosk categories, and should add more diversity to educational worlds.
Minecraft: Education Edition is built on the same creative freedom as Minecraft, but it's not just a video game. It aims to teach children about collaboration, creative problem solving, and open-minded critical thinking while providing informative information on a variety of subjects like science, math, history, coding, and more. With the Mobile Update, it's now available across more platforms with improved features across the board.
Is the Education Edition going to usurp its Bedrock sibling as one of the best Xbox games? No, it's an educational tool first and foremost, and isn't as accessible as other versions of Minecraft (if you're a non-educator seeking to explore Education Edition content, several features, worlds, and lessons from it are available in Bedrock Edition). The Education Edition of Minecraft is important to plenty of educators and children, though, and it's a whole lot better with today's update.
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.