Mojang today launched "Minecraft: Education Edition" for macOS and Windows platforms, allowing educators and administrators to begin introducing the game to students and use its copious tools and in-game systems to teach lessons in science, technology, engineering, math, history, language, art, and more (via TechCrunch). The game will come with a "Classroom Mode" companion app so teachers can manage settings within the seed created for their classroom, and even interact with the students in their world.
The game has been in a free trial testing period at some school across the country, totaling up to around 35,000 students and teachers who have used it so far. The full game now runs at a rate of $5 per user, with volume pricing available for larger schools. Those eligible to download Minecraft: Education Edition extend beyond normal public schools, and include libraries, museums, and individuals who are part of "nationally recognized home-school organizations."
The Minecraft: Education Edition website also includes resources for teachers to get started with the game, including pre-made lesson plans, helpful tutorials, and starter worlds that'll make it easier to acclimate students into the game's mechanics. For teachers who want to use the game in their classroom but aren't familiar with Minecraft, there's a "Minecraft Mentors" program that teaches them all of the basic principles of the game, along with how it can be adapted to education programs.
Like the consumer versions of Minecraft, Education Edition will receive version updates over time to ensure that the software stays up to date, as well as introduce new game features. The first version of the learning-focused edition will include all of the previous updates introduced to Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition beta, according to Microsoft. Educators interested can begin the sign up process on the game's website.
During last week's Mac event, Apple announced that Minecraft will be coming to the fourth-generation Apple TV by the end of 2016.