Minecraft: Education Edition can now be used by schools with iPads

Minecraft: Education Edition is to be made available on iOS for the first time, Microsoft has announced.

The move means schools that have bought iPads will now be able to use the popular open-world, block-building game in lessons to help children collaborate and learn about a range of subjects, including maths, physics, chemistry, history and languages.

Around 35 million teachers and students in 115 countries are licenced to use Minecraft: Education Edition and its sample lesson plans, such as “City Planning for Population Growth”, “Exploring Factors and Multiples” and “Effects of Deforestation”.

“Teachers are using Minecraft to teach every subject imaginable and encouraging student collaboration, creativity and digital citizenship,” Microsoft said in a blog post. “Today, we have great news for fans of the game, whether you’re already using Minecraft in your classroom or you’re hoping to next school year.

“We’re excited to share that Minecraft: Education Edition is coming to iOS. With Apple, we’re making it possible for schools using iPads to teach everything from math and chemistry to history and writing with Minecraft: Education Edition. Students can tap into the power of iPad to create elements and chemical compounds with the Chemistry Update and document their learning with the “Minecraft: Education Edition camera and portfolio.”

Microsoft recently revealed that Minecraft: Education Edition will get a new, free update – Update Aquatic – to help school pupils learn about the world’s oceans and its inhabitants. Students will be able to use coding to build coral reefs, explore shipwrecks and underwater monuments, understand sustainable fishing and rescue dolphins.

Meanwhile, Intune for Education will be updated so IT administrators in schools can manage all student iPads running Minecraft: Education Edition and Microsoft 365 education software from one console.

Following on from Update Aquatic, Microsoft has teamed up with BBC Learning to launch a collection of lesson plans, written by teachers, focused on our oceans. By taking on the roles of biological oceanographers and marine geologists, biologists and physicists, students will write code, build sensors, analyse data and create in 3D and mixed reality to answer questions such as “How do sharks swim?” and “How does coral grow?”.

The lesson plans have been released to complement the BBC Earth and OCEANX film Oceans: Our Blue Planet, which is narrated by British actress Kate Winslet.