Microsoft Sees Minecraft As Learning Tool For Schools

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Microsoft is to launch Minecraft portal for teachers to share ideas about how game can be used to teach maths, design, history and other subjects and skills

Microsoft is launching a new Minecraft site for educators, claiming the game can help students learn a number of skills in the classroom.

The former indie phenomenon is hugely popular among children and was acquired by Microsoft when it purchased developer Mojang last year for $2.5 billion last year. Minecraft has since been an integral part of Microsoft’s HoloLens demos and now thinks the game has a role in school too.

When it goes live, education.minecraft.net will provide teachers around the world with a forum to share ideas on how the video game can be used as part of lessons.

Minecraft for schools

Minecraft 1“Very soon after Minecraft launched, we noticed teachers bringing the game into their classrooms,” said a blog post. “Often inspired by the passion of their students, they started using Minecraft to design history lessons, teach language classes, explore mathematics, physics, computer science, writing, and more. And, aside from students developing their knowledge of the subject matter, teachers saw other skills emerging.

“Students were solving complex problems through collaboration while learning about leadership and digital citizenship. Minecraft was helping them develop in many different ways.”

The company says primary schools in Seattle are already teaching basic maths skills by calculating perimeter, area and volume in Minecraft, while middle schools students are learning about various religions by recreating sites in the game.

Closer to home, pupils in Dundee are learning about city planning and engineering by designing how they think Dundee waterfront should look like. Microsoft says the game can also help students learn coding, collaboration, design and creative thinking skills.

Microsoft has already donated Office 365 subscriptions to non-profit organisations and has also released an education-focused version of OneNote.

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