Launching this winter, Minecraft: Education Edition will be an "expanded" version of Minecraft for classrooms, distributed to educational institutions worldwide.
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Editor's Note: Ben Bertoli is a long-time Kotaku reader and commenter, a lifetime, dedicated video gamer and a sixth-grade teacher in Indiana. He reached out to Kotaku this past week to share the story of how he turned his class into a role-playing game. The enthusiasm and motivation of the children in Bertoli's class evoke the success stories seen in gamified experiences such as Fitocracy. Here, Bertoli explains his creation, ClassRealm, how it works and what motivated him to develop it.
Elisabeth Willis is my kind of art teacher. She's encouraging her students to create their own video game characters in real life. Her 7th grade class assignment was so popular this spring that she's already been asked to put together a panel for the National Art Educators Association—and she's not even a full-time teacher yet.
"Enduring Questions" is a mandatory class for freshmen at Wabash College. The syllabus? Gilgamesh, Aristotle, Goffman, Donne…and Portal. That's because it's taught by Michael "http://www.brainygamer.com/">Brainy Gamer" Abbot, profiled in this piece by Patrick Klepek that's certainly worth reading on Giant Bomb.
When his five-year-old daughter built a treehouse by herself in Minecraft, Joel Levin, a computer teacher at Manhattan's Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, got the idea to try incorporating the PC game into his lesson plan at school. He worried about numerous possibilities that the game would simply be incompatible with students that young, but he was relieved and gratified to discover he was wrong.
Surprise! WoW may be good for you (or rather, good for kids): LiveScience has a nice little piece up on the myriad uses of WoW in educational settings, from getting kids to up their reading and writing ability to parents who use it as part of homeschooling. Constance Steinkuehler of Pop Cosmopolitanism organized a group of middle school-aged boys to play WoW after school (for educational purposes, natch), and the benefits derived from the social community that sprung up were obvious: