Update, August 10, 2020 (9 am CT): Minecraft: Education Edition is now officially rolling out to Chromebooks in time for school, with some updates to help remote learning.
What you need to know
- Minecraft: Education Edition is a powerful tool that educators can learn to teach a variety of subjects.
- It's built on top of Minecraft: Bedrock Edition, and has been available for Windows, macOS, and iPad.
- Now there's a beta available for Chromebooks, letting educators test the educational program on their student's laptops.
- Thousands of Chromebooks are used in schools and other institutions, making it the perfect platform for Minecraft: Education Edition.
As great as Minecraft is, it's not exactly suitable for schools, as it is a video game. But what happens when you give Minecraft powerful administrative controls, thousands of lessons and interactive worlds, and a set of versatile tools and mechanics aimed towards encouraging learning and teamwork? You get Minecraft: Education Edition, which combines the best of Minecraft with a growing community of educators, teachers, and experts that can design and implement lessons for the game. The Education Edition has been around a while for Windows, macOS, and iPad, but one important platform for education was missing: Google's Chromebooks.
That's no longer the case, as a few weeks ago Mojang Studios quietly began a beta for Chromebooks, letting educators with Microsoft 365 Education accounts test the learning software for their classrooms. As of now, this is just a beta, so there are bound to be performance and stability issues while they test the Education Edition on the wide variety of affordable hardware offered by Chromebooks.
Mojang Studios is accomplishing the beta by offering the Education Edition as an app through the Google Play Store, which can be installed by an unmanaged account (admin access through the Google Admin Console or enterprise mobility management console isn't available yet). Once the app is installed, educators and students can sign in with an elligible Microsoft 365 Education Account, and take advantage of the huge number of lessons available to the program.
This is a big move, since Chromebooks (at least in the USA) are huge in schools. This dramatically increases the access students have to a fun, unique learning tool that teaches more than just math, science, or other topics. Collaboration, teamwork, and creative problem solving are all an important part of Minecraft: Education Edition. If you're an educator and you're interested in giving the beta a try, you can check out Mojang Studios' guides here.
Update, August 10, 2020 (9 am CT)—Minecraft: Education Edition is now rolling out to Chromebooks in full
After a few weeks of testing in beta, Minecraft: Education Edition is now rolling out to Chromebooks, and is available to install for all schools and learning institutions. On top of being available for Chromebooks, Minecraft: Education Edition is also getting a fresh update on other platforms (that will install automatically everywhere except for macOS) that improves remote learning experiences. The Chromebook version of the Education Edition supports all of the edu features teachers can take advantage of, including cross-play with other platforms and tons of admin tools. You can learn more from the official website for Minecraft: Education Edition.
A gaming masterpiece
Available everywhere you play.
Minecraft is an inarguable and complete success. It has sold copies in the hundreds of millions, has a huge following of dedicated players, and lets you unlock your every creative desire. It's also available on every platform imaginable, including Xbox One, Windows 10, Playstation 4, and Nintendo Switch. Play with anyone, and play anywhere.
Zachary Boddy is the Minecraft Expert and a News Writer for Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life, and have been freelancing for Windows Central and its sister sites since 2019, with a focus on Xbox and PC gaming. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.
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