Microsoft announced earlier this year that they would be investing its expansion in Minecraft by creating a new version that would allow the teachers to make use of the popular game in the classroom. Today, the company finally announced the Minecraft Education Edition that will be available for teachers starting this May.
According to Minecraft's blog post, Microsoft plans to run the beta program around the world with over 100 schools from 30 countries, which will allow the students to test drive the software in their classrooms. The company will also receive detailed feedback from the schools in working out the kinks to further improve the software for a later rollout.
Microsoft is planning to debut an early access program on May to allow the educators for a free download of Minecraft Education Edition that's already available in 11 different languages across 41 countries. The program will commence throughout the summer, meanwhile Microsoft will be teaming up with the early adopters to develop lesson programs, ideas for learning activity and building reusable projects.
During the software's wrap for the early access program, Minecraft Education Edition user licenses will be made for purchase through direct and volume licensing channels. Schools with current Microsoft agreements would then be able to add Minecraft Education Edition to an existing license agreement later this year.
Minecraft Education Edition's first release will run on the latest versions of Windows 10 and Mac OS X El Capitan, with a valid Office 365 Education account so that teachers and students may use the software.
Microsoft's decision to invest the expansion of Minecraft for a classroom version of the game comes when schools were already applying the software as part of their curriculum activity, where teachers still use Minecraft today with their students in over 7,000 classrooms in more than 40 countries around the world.