Microsoft and Mojang reveals ‘Minecraft Education’ pack to help kids stuck in lockdown

Microsoft and Mojang have released several free ‘Minecraft Education’ lessons in an effort to entertain and educate some of the many school kids who are currently missing classes due to coronavirus lockdowns. Released in 2009 as a building game, Minecraft became an educational tool, too, after the software giant acquired the game’s developer Mojang for $2.5 billion in 2014. Now, more than 35 million students and teachers are using Minecraft: Education Edition in 115 countries. In a new blog post, head of Xbox Phil Spencer has outlined a new category that’s being added to the Minecraft Marketplace, bringing free educational content for young players to download and explore. A collection of 10 lessons can now be downloaded from the Minecraft Marketplace for free via the new Education category. These include a replica of the International Space Station, a robot-aided coding course, a tour of Washington D.C. landmarks, marine biology, greek history, and more. These lessons are now live, and will be free to download through 30June. He says, “I have previously stated that I believe gaming has a unique power to bring people together, to entertain, to inspire and connect us, and I believe that’s even more true under these unique circumstances. Many are looking to gaming to remain connected with their friends while practicing social distancing, and we are seeing unprecedented demand for gaming from our customers right now.” Hundreds of millions of kids are at home due to coronavirus-related school closures more kids are going online to spend time with their friends, explore online worlds and learn through play. Families are trying to navigate the need to help their children with distance learning and balance that with taking time to have fun.  That’s why they are adding a new education category to the Minecraft Marketplace with free educational content players and parents can download. “We provided family settings that help parents choose the screen time limits, content filters, purchase limits, communication and sharing settings that are right for their families. While kids may be home from school, family settings can help balance gaming with offline schoolwork and other responsibilities,” he added. Kids stuck in quarantine aims to have a gala session of knowledge through gaming.