If you aren't familiar with Minecraft, then you should probably ask the generation below you. Most people have young kids who are into building worlds out of square blocks, and the game has shown how resourceful and creative its community can be. It is no wonder why Microsoft purchased Mojang's Minecraft a few years ago, and now they plan to take an Educational version of the game and make it into Minecraft: Education Edition to help even more players learn in real-time fields of education. Minecraft is also working hard on the long-awaited Update 1.9 or "Combat Update", and here is the latest on the Release Date and News.
According to Time, this MinecraftEdu has been started by both teachers from the United States and Finland for a few years. However, this "new and expanded version" of MinecraftEdu aka Minecraft: Education Edition is about to get a serious expansion. The original MinecraftEdu was designed to use the block-building sandbox game as a teaching tool in the classroom, and the original Minecraft creator Mojang supported this program that was adopted in over 40 countries which used Minecraft to educate in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) as well as Language, History, and Art.
Minecraft: Education Edition is going to have a free trial that will roll out this summer, but will then shift from a one-time license to a subscription model. In addition to that special edition, there will also be an offering of "Minecraft Mentors" that are designed to allow Minecraft teaching for those inexperienced to the game.
TechCrunch states that MinecraftEdu was produced by Teaching Gaming LLC and allows teachers to use Minecraft in the classroom, with a whole library of lessons and activities used to teach just about anything besides designing and programming. In fact, over 7,000 classrooms are already using Minecraft as a part of their curriculum. The company has stated that those who are learning with Minecraft develop skills like digital citizenship, empathy, social skills, and even improve their literacy.
The Verge gives examples of how Minecraft provides worlds like a map of feudal Japan for discussing Japanese poetry, another using Minecraft bricks for Brutalist architecture, as well as exploring molecules. Students might not be solving puzzles or taking quizzes or tests in these Minecraft worlds, but they will get a better historical and scientific setting about this.
So this year, it looks like Minecraft will see the release date for the Education Edition. It will no doubt also see some more chapters for Microsoft Story Mode. One of the big questions is when will Minecraft Update 1.9 be coming? This update 1.9 or Combat Update is going to be a major update to the game, but there still isn't a set release date. A recent report from iDigitalTimes shows that there are going to be a lot of updates that will be in the pipe for 2016, which will bring a long-awaited Minecraft Update 1.9 Release Date.