Minecraft is revolutionizing the classroom — proving that video games can be used as a fun, hands-on way to spark creativity while helping children to learn.
Elementary school teachers in Seattle, middle school teachers in Los Angeles and college professors in New Zealand are just some examples of educators using Minecraft to empower their students through technology.
Now, the Microsoft in Education Team is launching a new forum called Minecraft in Education, in which teachers can discuss and share ways their students can learn by using the game in the classroom.
The sandbox open-world game is being utilized as a teaching tool for students in subjects like math, history and geography. And since the only limit in the game is the user's imagination, students can reimagine art, master problem-solving skills and explore their own creativity.
While the Minecraft portal for teachers is not yet live, Microsoft and Mojang are hoping that it will provide a game-changing way to teach and inspire students. The building-block game can be used to learn concepts in math like perimeter, area and volume — or to explore an ancient civilization in ways that can't be visualized just by reading from a textbook.
Not only can the game help students grasp concepts in the subjects they are learning, but it also develops other skills like leadership and the ability to to work with others.
On Tuesday, the Microsoft in Education team announced other ways Microsoft will help teachers and students in the classroom. Global education network Edmodo will integrate Office 365 into its platform, meaning that teachers and students who use Edmodo to collaborate will now be able to use productivity tools like OneNote and PowerPoint.
To further increase student engagement, Microsoft also announced Bing Pulse, a classroom insight platform that allows students to tell their teacher if they don't understand a lesson in real time. Students responding to questions on their own devices permits teachers to observe insights and adjust their lessons.
Microsoft will showcase this technology for the classroom at the 2015 International Society for Technology in Education Conference in Philadelphia, which runs from June 29 through July 1. Bing Pulse will be available on its website on July 9.