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Microsoft on Tuesday announced a classroom-focused version of "Minecraft," the phenomenally popular open-world building game the company purchased in 2014 for $2.5 billion. "Minecraft: Education Edition" builds on a popular modification of the game called "MinecraftEdu," adding tools for teachers, customization for students, and a library of lesson plans to choose from.
Although some may question the effectiveness of video games as teaching tools, it's hard to argue with this particular game's popularity — and parents and teachers have already embraced it as a safe, collaborative virtual world for kids.
"One of the reasons Minecraft fits so well in the classroom is because it’s a common, creative playground," said Vu Bui, COO of the game's developer, Mojang. "It’s an open space where people can come together and build a lesson around nearly anything."
"Minecraft: Education Edition" will cost $5 per user per year, or less if you buy in bulk. When it launches this summer, getting the game should be fairly easy for people already in the "Minecraft" and Microsoft ecosystems, but teachers and parents might want to look at the frequently asked questions to make sure.