With thousands of children coming home from school for the time being, parents are left wondering how they can help provide guidance in their children's education. An unexpected contender for this task is none other than Minecraft, the open-world creative sandbox title that nary a child hasn't played and fallen in love with.
For most, Minecraft is simply a game, a medium through which to be entertained. Mojang and Microsoft, the companies behind the game, have also made it into a powerful educational resource used by thousands of schools in hundreds of countries, backed by high-quality lessons that anyone can access. With recent events changing the course of the world in the near future, Mojang and Microsoft have teamed up to make it even easier for parents at home to use this version of Minecraft, appropriately dubbed Minecraft: Education Edition. Here's how you can get involved.
What do I need to know about Minecraft?
If you're a parent concerned about the sometimes-unassailable mountain that is Minecraft — don't be! You're not expected to know every trick or secret to Minecraft, only how you can effectively use Minecraft as the specialized tool that it can be. To this end, there are four different guides you should read up on, depending on where your child will be playing. This includes:
- Our full guide on parental controls for child safety in Minecraft. This guide goes over everything you could need to know about parental controls, and how you can protect your child if they're playing online, no matter that platform.
- Our guides on cross-play between different platforms. Minecraft supports multiplayer play across platforms, meaning it doesn't matter which device you're using. If your child is on Xbox or Windows 10, this has already been handled for them in full. Nintendo Switch players should look here, while Playstation 4 players should look here for all the info.
- Our guide for how to create, configure, and manage your Minecraft worlds. If you want to be able to set-up new worlds for your child or keep track of which ones are for personal enjoyment and which ones are for education, you'll want to take a gander at these details.
How do I use the Education Edition of Minecraft?
Once you're a master at getting Minecraft up and running, all that's left to learn how to use all the resources at your disposal to not only help your child learn in subjects like agriculture, arithmetic, history, chemistry, architecture, and more but to be involved and share in the fun too. The special thing about Minecraft: Education Edition is that it actively encourages cooperation and creativity in a guided learning environment. It was already possible to use this to your advantage, but Microsoft has made this easier than ever before in the last few months. Here's what you need to check out.
- Our full guide to Minecraft: Education Edition. If you want to know where these features come from, we've compiled a complete guide on all the essentials. Not all of these features may be available to you, but it still might be useful to know what the Education Edition is capable of.
- Our guide to using Minecraft: Education Edition features at home. We also have a more focused, streamlined guide that focuses just on what every parent will be able to access at home, regardless of what accounts or services your child uses for school.
- The latest news for Minecraft: Education Edition. Microsoft and Mojang have made some changes to the program recently. The first change was expanding access to students that use Microsoft 365 Education accounts at school, even if the school isn't paying for Minecraft: Education Edition. If you know your child uses Microsoft's services like Office 365 for school, make sure their teachers know about this! The second change is a new Education Collection for vanilla Minecraft that's available right now, for free.
- The Minecraft Education Collection through the Marketplace. The aforementioned Education Collection includes different lessons, challenges, and worlds. You can learn about the human eye, explore the International Space Station, and complete lessons about math, marine biology, and more, for a total of 12 fantastic resources. These are all available starting right now for free until June 30, 2020, and make it even easier for you to access them for use, rather than trying to put things together yourself. I highly recommend taking advantage of this while the offer is available.
A smarter solution
It's undeniable that a lot of things are changing right now, and much of it is not for the better. That doesn't mean that your children have to disrupt their learning, or that they have to be miserable being taught remotely. Minecraft: Education Edition makes these lessons fun, interactive, encourage your children to learn with their friends, and means that you can be involved in the whole process. Who knows, maybe you'll learn something too. It's commendable that Microsoft and Mojang have made several critical changes to make these tools more pain-free to utilize because we need these kinds of solutions now more than ever.
Have you used Minecraft: Education Edition with your children?
What's the best lesson you've found so far? Sound off in the comments below!
A gaming masterpiece
Available everywhere you play.
Minecraft is a veritable, 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, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS. Play with anyone, and play anywhere.
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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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