There's no doubt about the success of the sandbox survival game Minecraft that even the education industry has adopted it and made its features become educational tools. How did Minecraft manage to invade this industry and succeed?
First of all, the majority of Minecraft fans and players are kids and Microsoft saw this opportunity. So when they acquired the game and launched it as Minecraft: Education Edition, kids and parents, even educators got hooked in. However, this is not just the reason why it is successful. The game has, surprisingly a lot of educational features that keep students, teachers, and parents engaged.
One of its notable Minecraft features are chalkboards that vary in size. Teachers can use them to post information and instructions for students in-game. They can also be used for clarification; thus, students learn while playing.
There are also NPCs or non-playable Minecraft characters which can be added to the game. But one of the most talked about features is the camera because students can take their selfie with their project or a screen capture the images they built, put them in the portfolio, caption them, and export them to any application they like.
However, what sets Minecraft:Education apart from the other Minecraft modes is that it has a classroom mode (think of it like a 'god mode') where teachers can 'teleport' between worlds where their students are playing and monitor what they are doing. They can also check the in-game chat of their students, give them items, and move around when students need them. This new mode will be included when Minecraft: Education will be released in November.
Through Minecraft:Education game, teachers can easily encourage their students' creativity in a space without being too intrusive. On the other hand, students can easily visualize what they create and experiment in a 3D environment.