Microsoft announced today that Minecraft: Education Edition will be available for purchase on November 1. This public release follows a months-long early access program during which 35,000 students and educators tested the product.
“As we head into the new school year, we’re excited to announce that the full version of Minecraft: Education Edition will be available to purchase on November 1,” a Microsoft representative told me. “Educators interested in trying the experience for free before buying can still try the early access version of Minecraft: Education Edition through November 1. Those new to using Minecraft in the classroom can also check outeducation.minecraft.net, which includes lesson plans and a new Minecraft Mentors program that connects educators with others experienced in teaching with Minecraft.”
Minecraft: Education Edition will cost $5 per user, per year, Microsoft says, or educational institutions can purchase it via a district-wide licensing model. It requires Windows 10 or macOS “El Capitan” or newer.
In addition to the full release of Minecraft: Education Edition on November 1, Microsoft will also debut a few new features at that time, including:
Classroom mode. This companion app will help educators manage world settings, communicate with students, give items, and teleport students in the Minecraft world, Microsoft says. Classroom Mode offers educators the ability to interact with students and manage settings from a central user interface.
New game features. Microsoft promises to continue updatingMinecraft: Education Edition to include new game features that are now available in other editions of Minecraft. “All the latest updates to Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition beta will be included, such as leads and horses, additional player skins, pistons and the remainder of Redstone functionality and an updated user interface,” Microsoft notes.