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Education Microsoft Programming Games

Microsoft To Release Educational Version of Minecraft (thestack.com) 57

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has announced that it will release an educational version of the Minecraft video game after acquiring the minecraft.edu domain and IP. The classroom version of Minecraft will be offered to schools and educators at a discount, and among other innovations will include the facility to create maps which the students can navigate throughout a lesson while recording their in-game activities. Microsoft has emphasized that it does not intend to change Minecraft into a strictly educational program.
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Microsoft To Release Educational Version of Minecraft

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  • by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2016 @11:54AM (#51329505)

    Microsoft is kinda square.

    • The strictly educational program will fundamentally "require" Microsoft base slavery.
      • Yup, use of their tools, access to student data, and control over outcomes and usage.

        And once again Microsoft injects itself into education and defines how it should be done.

        And we will NEVER see actual evidence learning Minecraft resulted in better educational outcomes of long-term employment.

        This is just more vendor lock-in of schools for what Microsoft has deemed a growth market, and which is being manipulated for their self-serving purposes.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft should be applauded for its use of commas in domain names Either that or the editors can be commended for being class A dipshits. I leave it to the readers to decide.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    From Educause site:

    https://net.educause.edu/edudomain/show_faq.asp?code=EDUELIGIBILITY

    1. What are the eligibility requirements for obtaining a name in the .edu domain?
    Eligibility for a .edu domain name is limited to U.S. postsecondary institutions that are institutionally accredited, i.e., the entire institution and not just particular programs, by agencies on the U.S. Department of Education’s list of Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies. These include bot

  • by Anonymous Coward

    But like many video games, Minecraft is inherently sexist and patriarchal, as all Minecraft player characters are by default male. Moreover, cis white males. While it is possible for children to design skins in order to play as a trans* character, ultimately this restriction in body type is prejudiced against women, people of colour, those with physical disabilities, and those with non-standard body types. The consequences of releasing this product in its current form range from schools experiencing increas

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Go die in a fire, you too long didn't read faggot.

    • by Dins ( 2538550 )

      But like many video games, Minecraft is inherently sexist and patriarchal, as all Minecraft player characters are by default male.

      I know this is just a troll/SJW joke, but this isn't true. Hadn't played in a while and so therefore hadn't migrated my account to the new format. When I did, and then logged in to play with my son I was a girl. Yes, a white girl, but a girl nonetheless. Previously I had used the default male model (Steve) with no custom skin. The female default model is apparently named Alex.

      Now my character model is Deadpool, but that's another story.

    • by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2016 @12:14PM (#51329715)

      AFAIK there's only one type of body in Minecraft: blocky.

      You're right about default settings though. Players should get a menu when creating a new character. The first choice would be male or female, followed by skin colour, then hair colour, hair style, zero to two arms, zero to two legs, religion, dietary choice, sex orientation and finally pro-tentacles or not.

      • by ashshy ( 40594 )

        Players should get a menu when creating a new character. The first choice would be male or female, followed by skin colour, then hair colour, hair style, zero to two arms, zero to two legs, religion, dietary choice, sex orientation and finally pro-tentacles or not.

        But what if you're a hoopy frood with two heads and three arms?

        You insensitive clod!

      • zero to two arms

        I self-identify as a Motie. I am triggered.

        My lawyer will be in touch.

    • by jeffb (2.718) ( 1189693 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2016 @12:16PM (#51329735)

      To the contrary, Minecraft represents a major breakthrough for the previously marginalized (to the point of near-invisibility) Cubic-American population.

      And how DARE you speak of "non-standard" body types? What body type would you oppressively impose as "standard"?

      • I believe the appropriate, non-offensive term here is "Voxel-Americans", you insensitive clod!

    • The difference between male and female in Minecraft is exactly 3 pixels.

  • Theodp isn't gonna like it. Hopefully they won't offer it to H1Bs too. That would really set him off the deep end.
  • There's an educational version of a game? Wow!
  • by puddingebola ( 2036796 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2016 @01:42PM (#51330465) Journal
    The Educational version of Minecraft is called "Minecraft."
  • Ok, so I've been all over the minecraftedu site, and I can't figure out what a school would actually "do" with this? I mean, are kids supposed to be begrudgingly unplugged from all their shit at home, ferried to their school with their Beats on, then jacked right the hell back in for additional screen time? What could be in there? "Today in school I dug a hole to bedrock then fell in it to kill myself, so I missed the assignment. That's why I had after school detention."

    So seriously, is it for like virt

    • People have built 8-bit computers from logic blocks [youtube.com]

      You can use the logic to build automated systems [google.com].

      Watching people build in Minecraft mirrors a lot of what my job looks like working with Simulink.

      It's barely a pretty GUI on top of basic logic.

      I could see a 6-7th grade course on 'building an automated farm' following tutorials and then breaking down what they did into logic diagrams.

      You could easily train 8th & 9th graders in industrial automation tools if they were interested in the subject material.

  • by Tom ( 822 )

    I've checked the MinecraftEdu website after reading is has been used for 5 years already. I still don't get what it is that it teaches. Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of edutainment and consider learning through playing a fantastic thing. I just don't understand what Minecraft brings to that. It seems like a massive waste of time where teachers do some half-assed job of putting together something they think will appeal to students who then go through it, rolling their eyes all the time. You know, like m

    • I used it in my Computer Science courses to teach kids the basics of loops, variables, if statements, etc. before introducing them to a "real" programming language. The kids loved it and they had a much better understand of those basic programming constructs than they did in years past when I used Alice to introduce concepts. MinecraftEdu comes with "turtles" that the kids can program using a block-like language. Basically simulating the old Logo program.
      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        So why bother paying M$ for two copies of minecraft, one for at home and one in the class, when pretty simple generic FOSS programs can do the same thing. Why waste that money, not once mind you but again and again and again and, well, you know the drill of the upgrade cycle. Why makes spending 200 million (approximate number of students) times say $50 every couple of years (total 10 billion dollars). So where the hell is the 10 billion dollars of educational worth exactly in this program. Reality is to en

      • by Tom ( 822 )

        I get that.

        What I don't get is why that requires Minecraft. It seems counter-productive due to complexity. A good fraction of people don't have very good 3d imagination and would finding a top-down 2d world much easier to comprehend.

        • I get that.

          What I don't get is why that requires Minecraft. It seems counter-productive due to complexity. A good fraction of people don't have very good 3d imagination and would finding a top-down 2d world much easier to comprehend.

          Normally I would agree with that statement. In the past I tried 2D systems such as GameMaker and other block-like languages. I tried Alice the past two years which ventured into 3D. The difference with Minecraft is the kids already know it. I took a poll of the kids on the first day of class and only 2 out of 60 had never played Minecraft. That helps quite a bit with the learning curve so we can just focus on the logic. Their final grades were also much better this year and attribute a lot of that to the en

        • Familiarity. It requires Minecraft because everyone under the age of 16 has heard of it and most of them have played it. It is a simple virtual world where children can gather and learn, and possibly even experiment.

          This is precisely why Microsoft bought Mojang. Having a port to the dying Windows Phone was nice but not really the reason. Having a special port for Windows 10 that connects with Pocket Edition players was something that they could have got if they simply asked Mojang and 4J for. Getting e

    • 8-bit computers [youtube.com]

      & Automated farms [google.com]

      Teachers don't have to know anything. "Follow these good tutorials" or better yet. "Here's your project for the semester". Building the logic by hand they might accidentally learn basics.

      Teach them to change the colors of anything in the game. Teach them hex and how to count to 16.

      I used to hack around in a hex editor to change how much money I started with in Oregon Trail.

      • by Tom ( 822 )

        Teach them to change the colors of anything in the game. Teach them hex and how to count to 16.

        Isn't that a little the wrong way around, like a solution searching for a problem? 99% of the population never need the hexadecimal system in their real life, and the rest will pick it up in much easier ways. A website with a javascript colour picker would serve the same purpose.

  • Does it run for five minutes then pop up a message saying "Go read a goddam book"?

  • Interesting. This kind of reminds me of Ready Player One which prominently features a game that is all about virtual worlds where, in part, schools are held. The OASIS becomes the largest game and company in the world. No worries though, Microsoft is no GSS, Minecraft no OASIS and Gates no Halliday.
  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Tuesday January 19, 2016 @04:33PM (#51331891)

    ... for blowing up the Minecraft Microsoft Redmond HQ?

DEC diagnostics would run on a dead whale. -- Mel Ferentz

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