Minecraft Gives Free Access to Education Platform

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. unprecedented / ʌnˈprɛs ɪˌdɛn tɪd / (adj) – not experienced in the past

    The unprecedented event shocked many people.

  2. virtual / ˈvɜr tʃu əl / (adj) – describing something that happens on computers or online

    We need good internet connection to make virtual learning possible.

  3. rapport / ræˈpɔr / (n) – a close or friendly relationship

    The employees will have a team-building to build rapport.

  4. engaging / ɛnˈgeɪ dʒɪŋ / (adj) – enjoyable or entertaining

    My friend said that playing online games is very engaging.

  5. aspect / ˈæs pɛkt / (n) – a part of something

    I enjoy the social aspect of my job because I love meeting new people.


Read the text below.

Best-selling video game Minecraft has extended free access to its online learning platform because of the unprecedented closure of many schools worldwide.

Minecraft, a building game launched in 2009, became a learning platform after Microsoft bought Minecraft developer Mojang in 2014. At present, the platform called Minecraft: Education Edition is used by around 35 million people in 115 countries.

All Minecraft users will be able to access the platform for free until the end of June. Minecraft’s general manager Deirdre Quarnstrom said that the company is trying to meet the need for remote learning because many children are stuck at home. She added that Minecraft can easily adjust to the needs of remote learning since it is a digital game.

Minecraft: Education Edition features lessons in math, science, language arts, and history. The platform has a remote learning toolkit with activities like building historical monuments and coding to create a virtual garden.

The platform comes with a classroom multiplayer feature, which helps build rapport among users of the same program. Through the platform, children can also go on virtual tours of the International Space Station and the capital of the US.

According to Becky Keene, a certified Minecraft trainer, interesting activities and environments motivate children to continue studying. Keene added that Minecraft is helpful since it is visually engaging, and it makes tracking students’ progress easier.

Minecraft educator Mark Henkels attributes Minecraft’s popularity to the platform’s promotion of social interaction. He believes that this aspect of the game makes Minecraft an effective educational platform.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• In your opinion, should Minecraft give permanent free access to its learning platform? Why or why not?
• What do you think are the challenges of using Minecraft as a learning tool (e.g. internet problems, fewer instructions from teachers)? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Do you think it’s important to have fun while learning? Why or why not?
• How can parents and teachers make learning more fun? Discuss.