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!”

The Sims Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Free Birthday Hot Tub

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The Sims may not enjoy the incredible popularity it once held, but it’s still comfortably in the top ten best-selling video game series of all time. This year EA is celebrating The Sims’ 20th anniversary with an update that adds a free in-game item for The Sims 4.

The special item is the Birthday Hot Tub, and it’s free to anyone who logs into The Sims 4 on any platform. It’s located under Outdoor Activities, and allows Sims to chat, skinny dip, and even engage in some romance, er, WooHoo.

Here’s what EA has to say about the storied franchise:

From the beginning, The Sims has been about playing with life, creating and designing a world in which anything can happen. Even back then, The Sims put a lot of emphasis on inclusion and the freedom to play as you like with the capability to romance any Sim, pick any career path, or spend all of your time in Build/Buy mode. It’s changed a lot in the past twenty years, though, as our understanding of those ideas has evolved. More than just reflecting life as it is, The Sims opens up new possibilities and does away with limits. It gives you a space to push boundaries, explore new ideas, and challenge the status quo.

We have so much more in store for you in this new decade, and we can’t wait to share the journey with you. Thank you for all of your creativity, your passion, and your hilarity. You are the best players in the world.

The birthday celebration also includes a fun infographic featuring various Sims stats, like 75+ expansion packs, over 1.6 billion Sims, and 825 million downloads from the Gallery.

If you really want to show off your Sims love, there’s a new 20th Anniversary Birthday Collection for Sims-branded clothing on Threadless.

The Sims 4 originally released in 2014 on Windows PC (Origin), 2015 on Mac, and in 2017 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It’s rated T for Teen.