Minecraft is getting some new tools in its quest to educate.
Microsoft announced a new, free update today for the Education Edition of its block-building game. Minecraft has sold over 106 million copies on all of its platforms for home consoles, mobile, and PC, attracting an enthusiastic, young audience. That could make it a useful tool to get children excited about learning. According to Microsoft, more than 75,000 students and educators have used Minecraft: Education Edition, which launched last November.
Miinecraft: Education Edition 1.0 adds a Global Pause button, which enables the teacher to initiate a break for the entire classroom. It also brings text-to-speech for in-game chat, which could benefit visually impaired students. The update also changes the user-interface for “easier settings management.”
Education Edition 1.0 also increases the max height for the in-game world. This enables teachers and students to build taller creations, up to 256 blocks high.
The update also allows teachers to upload their Minecraft worlds to the Docs.com platform, which will make them easier to share with students and other educators.