Minecraft Education Edition

Minecraft: Education Edition is Free for Educators to Support Online Teaching

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Schools around the country and the world are closing to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which means many students and teachers are using online tools for education. Microsoft is helping teachers and students stay connected by offering Minecraft: Education Edition for free to all educators through June 30.

In order to qualify, teachers will need to have a valid Office 365 Education account, and fill out this form. You’ll also need to make sure your school is eligible. If you receive access, you can download Minecraft: Education Edition for Windows, Mac or iOS (iPad). If you don’t have a valid account, or just want to check it out, you can still download the game and try a free demo lesson.

Microsoft has also put together a remote learning toolkit that includes 50 lessons, activities, and projects that educators can use with Minecraft: Education Edition. A new category of educational Minecraft worlds are also available in the Minecraft Marketplace. All of these worlds are free to download through June 30.

“Distance learning requires students to be engaged in content in news ways,” said Becky Keene, Minecraft certified trainer and educator. “As they work remotely, they need to have activities and environments that motivate them to learn. Minecraft supports almost any content area, and students can show me their learning without missing a beat!”

Stay Safe Jam is an Online-only Game Jam Running this Weekend

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Game jams are a fun way for gaming industry professionals and neophytes to come together and prototype new game ideas in a friendly competitive atmosphere. Unfortunately the current crisis of a global pandemic from COVID-19 is forcing most of us to stay away from each other to avoid further spreading the virus.

Developer Nukklear Digital Minds have come up with a solution – an all-digital game jam. The Stay Safe! Jam will run this weekend, March 27 – 29. To promote participation, publisher Assemble Entertainment is partnering with the Stay Safe Jam along with other big-name publishers such as Bethesda and Ubisoft to provide prizes for participants.

While a Game Jam typically brings together hundreds of skilled game developers to work in teams to design and develop a video game in 48-hours, Nukklear Digital Minds recognizes the need to shelter in place during these troubling and uncertain times. Stay Safe! Jam is designed to encourage participating game developers worldwide to stay home and create a video game with like-minded professionals.

The theme for the jam hasn’t been announced yet, but participants are encouraged to use any genre, engine, and library (no copyrighted material). Entries must be family-friendly, as well. Games will be judged on theme, engagement, visual representations, and sound design. The Stay Safe! Jam will primarily use the official Discord server and Itch.io.

Submissions will be open beginning on 4 pm Friday, until 3 pm on Sunday.