Video games sometimes get a bad rap. Some say they're distracting, or that they promote laziness. But Microsoft is hoping to change how people feel about them.
The company is releasing a special edition of the popular game, Minecraft. It is designed for educational purposes, and will be promoted with teachers to use in their classrooms.
The hope is that this new version of Minecraft will become a learning tool teachers can use to help their students develop valuable skills. The game is known to promote empathy, literacy, as well as social skills.
One of the most fun features of Minecraft Education Edition is that up to 30 students can play the game at once, using "classroom mode." The game also has an interface that can be used by the teachers to map all of their students' progress.
If you're unfamiliar with Minecraft, players in the game can build everything from skyscrapers to entire cities. In fact, players have even built precise replicas of existing cities. Click here to see photos of some of these amazing digital worlds.
Minecraft Education Edition is intended to be licensed to schools for around $1 - $5 per user, and may show up in classrooms as early as next fall. For now, teachers are being offered a free trial of the game to test it out.
What do you think? Should teachers use video games as a teaching tool in their classrooms? Let us know in the comments.