Minecraft: Education Edition has been available for a bit of time now for macOS and Windows, and now it’s heading to large-screen iOS devices.
As was reported by GeekWire on Monday, Microsoft is planning on bringing the education-focused game to the iPad beginning in September. The rollout is meant to give educators time to plan lessons around the title, which offers educational tools to learn science, art, math, and more. According to the report, Microsoft’s reasoning for bringing the educational game to the iPad is because many school districts use the tablet in their classrooms.
“The reason Microsoft added iPad support was straightforward: School districts have iPads and want students to be able to learn about STEM and other subjects with Minecraft on Apple’s tablets in addition to the Windows 10 and Mac OS devices that can already run Education Edition.
However, making the Education Edition work with iPads required optimizing it for ‘pure touch input,’ said Deirdre Quarnstrom, general manager of Minecraft Education at Microsoft. After testing it with a couple of schools, she said, ‘we’ve made sure it’s a great experience for touch’ and will support newer Education Edition features introduced earlier this year.”
Meanwhile, another important change is on the way as well. Microsoft has confirmed that it is bringing the features of the Education Edition version of Minecraft over to the stock game experience as well. The idea is to eventually have all of the education-focused features in the standard game so even more people can take advantage of those tools.
That effort is already rolling out, with the “Chemistry Resource Pack” now available in the standard game. For those who do try it out, it will allow players to create both complex and simple substances with a Compound Creator, and the pack also includes a full period table to study.
Minecraft: Education Edition costs $5 per user. This is one of Microsoft’s major efforts to bring the already massively popular game to even more people and broaden its appeal. Microsoft acquired the developers behind Minecraft, Mojang, back in 2014. Since then, Minecraft has only grown in scale, allowing for cross-platform play between consoles (including with the Education Edition), and more platform availability, including the Apple TV.
Minecraft is a fun time with a lot to do, and it’s especially fun for parents to play with kids. As a learning tool it seems like an interesting idea, especially for longer play sessions where a bit of educational tools wouldn’t hurt to mix things up. The fact that Microsoft is bringing these features into the standard game is just as exciting as the iPad launch next month.
Think we’ll see Apple talk about Minecraft: Education Edition at the September event?