Microsoft’s "Minecraft" is for learning 50 million downloads of free education content.

Microsoft | May 21, 2020

  • Minecraft,” the Microsoft-owned game known for its user-driven content has been at the forefront of mainstream games that utilize educational content.

  • Much of this content, which was at first fueled by educators in the “Minecraft” community before Microsoft brought it in-house.

  • Minecraft: Education Edition” has for the last few years played host to virtual curricula that have allowed students to visit and learn about global monuments.


Minecraft, the Microsoft-owned game known for its user-driven content, creative use of blocks and monsters that come out at night, has been at the forefront of mainstream games that utilize educational content. The studio’s “Minecraft: Education Edition” has for the last few years played host to virtual curricula that have allowed students to visit and learn about global monuments, sharpen math skills, understand coding or take puzzle-filled explorations to places as varied as the human body or a NASA-approved jaunt into the International Space Station. Much of this content, which was at first fueled by educators in the “Minecraft” community before Microsoft brought it in-house in 2016, had previously been available only to schools and teachers and worked in tandem with Microsoft educational accounts.


In March, however, Microsoft made an assortment of “Minecraft’s” popular educational tools available for free, with easier access for all players via the “Minecraft Marketplace.” And players have flocked to it. Microsoft reports that there have been more than 50 million downloads globally of educational content since it was made available for free March 24. It’s further evidence that virtual worlds are not just places to play or escape but vessels to learning, connecting or even taking part in digital events. Just this weekend, for instance, “Minecraft” was home to a mock commencement ceremony for UC Berkeley, which featured remarks from Chancellor Carol T. Christ alongside musical performances. It was one of many “Minecraft” graduation ceremonies happening around the globe.



Learn more: GOOGLE LAUNCHED READ ALONG, AN AI ANDROID APP HELPING KIDS IMPROVE READING SKILLS .
 

“Microsoft reports that there have been more than 50 million downloads globally of educational content since it was made available for free March 24. It’s further evidence that virtual worlds are not just places to play or escape but vessels to learning.”

~ Microsoft Says


The UC Berkeley event, said Helen Chiang, the studio head at “Minecraft” developer Mojang Studios, happened organically. When viewed alongside more commercially minded endeavors, such as rapper Travis Scott unleashing a single in “Fortnite” via an interactive experience that attracted more than 27 million participants, this pandemic moment is arguably accelerating an entertainment and cultural landscape in which persistent and evolving virtual worlds don’t just live alongside content crafted by traditional media gatekeepers but become equally as vital.

“Minecraft: Education Edition” has for the last few years played host to virtual curricula that have allowed students to visit and learn about global monuments, sharpen math skills, understand coding or take puzzle-filled explorations to places as varied as the human body or a NASA-approved jaunt into the International Space Station.”


How it all evolves is something of an unknown, as evidenced by the fact that “Minecraft’s” own educational suite was birthed via the game-playing community rather than with the company behind it.“The example right now of universities and college campuses,” says Chiang, discussing “Minecraft” graduations at schools around the globe, “it actually would have been really difficult for us to re-create all these colleges. The fact that we have a tool that passionate Berkeley students can go build their campus, and passionate MIT students can build their campus, that’s where the magic happens. It is not that we do all of these things.” While no one knows yet how the gaming audience will shift when the world begins to emerge from the grips of COVID-19, it’s become clear that interactive entertainment is uniquely positioned for this moment.


Almost daily we discover inventive tactics that users are wielding — not just via “Minecraft” or “Fortnite” but also “Animal Crossing,” Nintendo’s friendly, task-filled game that has become a coronavirus-era phenomena.“Minecraft,” which is turning 11 and is considered by many to be the top-selling game of all time, has now sold more than 200 million copies, says Chiang, and boasts 126 million active monthly players. In April alone, the game saw a 25% increase in new users over the previous month. People are also playing together — “Minecraft’s” multiplayer sessions surged 40% in April. While “Minecraft’s” popularity has never been in doubt, as Mojang Studios gets deeper into the game’s second decade, the company has been looking to expand the “Minecraft” brand. Mojang recently released the augmented-reality mobile game “Minecraft Earth” and on May 26 will issue the hack-and-slash game “Minecraft Dungeons” across multiple platforms.


Learn more: EDTECHS DESIGNED THE BEST APPLICATION OF VOICE TECHNOLOGY IN AWS CHALLENGE. WHICH GETS YOUR VOTE?
 

Spotlight

Young Queenslanders can no longer expect to get good jobs, earn decent incomes and lead rewarding lives without obtaining Year 12 or some kind of substantial vocational or university qualification that gives them the skills for work and life.

Spotlight

Young Queenslanders can no longer expect to get good jobs, earn decent incomes and lead rewarding lives without obtaining Year 12 or some kind of substantial vocational or university qualification that gives them the skills for work and life.

Related News

TALENT DEVELOPMENT

AMAZON AND LEADING MUSIC EDUCATION PLATFORM YOUSICIAN COLLABORATE TO CREATE THE ULTIMATE BUNDLE FOR BEGINNER MUSICIANS

amazon | November 09, 2022

Amazon and Yousician, the world's leading music education service, are collaborating to help inspire the next generation of musicians. Beginning October 24th, consumers who purchase a qualifying musical instrument in Amazon stores will receive as an added gift-with-purchase, 30-days free access to Yousician Premium+, making it easy for any beginner to get started learning an instrument. Yousician has set a new standard in music education with its gamified approach to learning how to play an instrument. Its platform offers thousands of interactive guitar, bass, piano, ukulele, and singing lessons to quickly learn to play your favorite songs from hundreds of artists across all musical spectrums: from Coldplay and Adele to Billie Eilish, Metallica, and many more. Amazon, whose Amazon's Alexa Fund invested in Yousician's $28 million Series B fund in April 2021, is collaborating for the first time with Yousician to create this special bundle. Yousician always offers new users the option to receive a 7-day free subscription, but with this collaboration, they will receive 30-days free. This is the first time Yousician has collaborated with another company for a consumer product bundle. Yousician's approach to music education uses innovative audio recognition technology that differentiates the platform from its competitors. The audio feature listens to the user play and provides real-time feedback. The gamified experience is that of an on-demand music school with world-class instructors at the helm to guide interactive learning for users at any level. "Through our collaboration with Amazon, we make it very easy for people to begin their musical hobby. Get the instrument delivered to your home, download the Yousician app and start playing. It's that simple. Customers trust Amazon's seamless retail experience, and millions trust Yousician to learn how to play an instrument. We're looking forward to being able to offer Yousician to Amazon customers and help them kickstart their musical journey." Chris Thür, Co-founder and CEO of Yousician Yousician recently partnered with Metallica, the multi-Grammy Award-winning and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band, to create 3 beginner-friendly courses with step-by-step tutorials directly from the band so users could learn the songs the way they're meant to be played directly from the band themselves. Amazon customers will receive a special code with their qualifying instrument purchase that gives them 30-days free access on Yousician Premium+. Premium+ access on Yousician includes unlimited lessons and thousands of songs to learn from. No credit card is required to redeem the offer. The promotion will kick off October 24th and run in the United States for a 1 year period. About Yousician: Yousician is the world's leading platform for learning and playing music, driven by the belief that the more people play music, the better this world will be. With a combined 20 million monthly users, the platform's groundbreaking products, Yousician and GuitarTuna, are the leaders in their field. Yousician has revolutionized how people learn and play music with innovative technology that gives players real-time feedback. It offers interactive learning for guitar, bass, ukulele, piano and singing with lessons, exercises and songs.

Read More

TALENT DEVELOPMENT

Nation's largest Hispanic Serving Institution FIU joins tech training initiative

Florida International University | October 12, 2022

Florida International University (FIU) has joined an initiative designed to help students access the skills and credentials necessary to succeed in high-demand technology careers. Through a partnership with the tech talent platform SkillStorm, FIU students can now participate in courses that lead to credentials from the country's leading tech companies, including AWS, Salesforce, CompTIA and Pega. "As one of Florida's largest institutions, we have a responsibility to prepare our students to navigate a rapidly evolving and increasingly digital labor market,Partnerships like this one, which will draw on SkillStorm's unique training model and deep relationships with major tech employers, are helping us realize that mission and fulfill our role as an engine of economic mobility throughout the state." Bridgette Cram, Interim Vice President, Innovative Education & Student Success at Florida International University. Though Hispanics make up nearly one-fifth of the U.S. workforce, they are just 7 percent of the tech workforce, according to recent research from the Aspen Institute and the Kapor Center. As the country's largest Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) with more than 32,000 students who identify as Hispanic or Latino, FIU is uniquely positioned to help close this persistent gap by expanding access to the credentials that are most in-demand among technology employers today. FIU's partnership with SkillStorm includes the Accelerator Program . SkillStorm's Accelerator Program provides online, asynchronous and traditional training courses to help students gain certification in AWS, Salesforce, CompTIA and Pega. Our work is rooted in the belief that closing skill gaps and creating pathways to economic mobility are, in many ways, two sides of the same coin,said Joe Mitchell, COO at SkillStorm. Together with FIU, we're enabling more students to learn the skills that lead to success in today's world of work, and expanding access to economic opportunity for those who stand to gain the most from the promise of higher education. The certifications provided through these partnership tracks are designed for students and professionals at any stage of their educational or career journey. Many of FIU's certification courses will offer students the flexibility to attend when convenient, while providing access to one-on-one training from industry-certified instructors. About FIU Florida International University is a top public university that drives real talent and innovation in Miami and globally. Very high research (R1) activity and high social mobility come together at FIU to uplift and accelerate learner success in a global city by focusing in the areas of environment, health, innovation, and justice. Today, FIU has two campuses and multiple centers. FIU serves a diverse student body of more than 58,000 and 290,000 Panther alumni. U.S. News and World Report places dozens of FIU programs among the best in the nation, including international business at No. 2. Washington Monthly Magazine ranks FIU among the top 20 public universities contributing to the public good. About SkillStorm SkillStorm is bringing together Fortune 500 employers, universities, and government agencies to build tomorrow's highly skilled tech workforce. Through partnerships with platforms like Pega, Salesforce, AWS and ServiceNow, we help working learners and aspiring tech experts build in-demand skills and earn industry-recognized certifications to compete in an increasingly dynamic economy. Our work is rooted in the belief that closing skill gaps and boosting economic mobility are two sides of the same coin, and that new approaches to training can help to both expand the pool of skilled tech talent and create new pathways to opportunity.

Read More

CORPORATE EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Fullstack Academy Joins AWS Authorized Training Partner Program

Fullstack Academy | September 15, 2022

Fullstack Academy, a national tech education provider, announced today it has joined the Amazon Web Services Authorized Training Partner program. AWS Training Partners (ATP) are the only organizations that can deliver or offer official AWS Training through their AWS Authorized Instructors (AAI). As an ATP, Fullstack Academy will integrate AWS Training and Certification into several of its existing bootcamp programs. Starting in 2022, students enrolled in the Data Analytics Training Accelerator (DATA), a no-cost training program offered in partnership with NYC’s Tech Talent Pipeline, will receive the training needed to earn the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification. The certification validates an individual’s cloud fluency and foundational AWS knowledge, establishing credibility within their organization or qualifying for new career opportunities. Training for this certification will be rolled out to additional Fullstack Academy bootcamps later this year. The organization also plans to offer this training standalone to new students and alumni. Cloud computing skills are in high demand, with 85% of organizations reporting the need for employees with cloud expertise, according to a 2020 report from 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence. “Adoption of cloud computing services grew 25% in 2021 alone, and we’re seeing companies using AWS to become more agile, improve scalability and innovate more quickly,For many tech professionals, cloud computing skills are essential to landing a job and advancing their career. By becoming an AWS Authorized Training Partner, Fullstack Academy is better able to support our students and alumni looking to develop the in-demand skills needed to implement cloud solutions.” Jerrad Tausz, CEO of Fullstack Academy. Before Fullstack became an ATP, its students and graduates were seeking AWS Certifications outside of the bootcamp to complement their credentials. As I was preparing for a job search in the information technology field, I wanted to set myself up for success and demonstrate my knowledge of cloud computing to potential employers,said Sean Borry, a Fullstack Academy graduate now working as a Consultant at Deloitte. The technical knowledge and professional confidence I gained as a student at Fullstack Academy, combined with becoming an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, played a huge part in me being able to secure a job in the industry. Borry graduated from the Fullstack Academy Cybersecurity Bootcamp in May 2022. “In today’s increasingly cloud-driven world, many of our students and alumni are looking to bolster their cloud expertise with AWS Certifications,” Tausz added. “We’re thrilled to incorporate the training into our offerings.” According to a 2022 report from Enterprise Strategy Group, 83% of learners reported increased job security as a result of AWS Certifications, and 74% reported higher earnings. Employers also report benefitting from AWS Certifications. Among IT leaders that employ staff with AWS certifications, 90% say productivity improved, 89% report faster troubleshooting, and 86% report improved cloud security. Professionals with cloud skills are fundamentally key to helping organizations transform their business and thrive which is why these skills are in such high demand, said Maureen Lonergan, Vice President, AWS Training and Certification. “AWS Training and Certification, along with ATPs like Fullstack Academy, aim to equip the builders of today and tomorrow with the knowledge to tap into the power of the cloud. About Fullstack Academy Fullstack Academy is a national tech education provider based in New York City. Founded in 2012, it offers web development, cybersecurity, data analytics, DevOps, and product management bootcamps. Fullstack Academy also offers the Grace Hopper Program, an immersive software engineering course for women and non-binary students, in addition to partnerships with leading universities nationwide, including Virginia Tech, Caltech CTME, and Louisiana State University. Graduates have been hired by Google, Facebook, Fortune 100 firms, and startups

Read More