Few games are as beloved as Oregon Trail, one of the oldest and most venerable educational computer games. Now Microsoft, makers of Minecraft: Education Edition, are releasing a version of Oregon Trail for use in classrooms.

Microsoft bought Minecraft in 2014 and created Education Edition last year, a special version of Minecraft aimed at educators and students. Education Edition has lots of features to make the already educational game more useful as a classroom tool. 

Since the launch, there have been many updates to make Minecraft: Education Edition easier to use for teachers. Minecraft’s adaptability really lends itself to all kinds of educational experiences.

Students can design buildings to fit a historical period they’re studying, create presentations with images and writing, and now even program non-player characters (NPCs) to people the worlds they create.

This will all come in handy in the Oregon Trail Minecraft game, where students will be able to engage in a variety of learning experiences as they make the journey from Independence, Missouri to the Oregon Coast.

Included in the Minecraft version of Oregon Trail is the complete storyline from the original game. The developers have added many new activities, too, spanning language arts, math, science, and visual arts.

The Minecraft: Education Edition website has more information about the game’s features and a download link.

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Linda learned to play video games as a way to connect with her teenaged kids, and then she learned to love video games for their own sake. At Pixelkin she wrangles the business & management side of things, writes posts as often as she can, reaches out on the social media, and does the occasional panel or talk. She lives in Seattle, where she writes, studies, plays video games, spends time with her family, consumes vast quantities of science fiction, and looks after her small cockapoo. She loves to hear from people out there. You can read more about her at her website, Linda Breneman.com or her family foundation's website, ludusproject.org.