Minecraft is coming to every secondary school in Northern Ireland

minecraft northern ireland
Minecraft, Mojang’s breakout game of building and exploration, is being distributed for free to schools in Northern Ireland. The initiative was organized as part of the annual CultureTECH festival and funded by the country’s Department of Culture, Arts, and Leisure. (via The Guardian)

200 schools and 30 libraries and community organizations will be supplied with download codes for MinecraftEdu, an educational version of the game created by the company TeacherGaming, which was formed by a group of American and Finnish educational game developer’s soon after Minecraft‘s launch in 2011 to facilitate its use in the classroom.

“The level of engagement is the first thing you notice,” said Mark Nagurski, chief executive of CultureTECH. “This is work that the kids really want to do, and if you’re able to harness that enthusiasm, energy, and creativity, you end up with a pretty significant learning opportunity.”

TeacherGaming’s iteration of Minecraft (with the full support of Mojang) added additional controls, features, and networking options to better facilitate this passion and utilize it for educational purposes. They claim that over 3,000 teachers in hundreds of schools around the world currently utilize MinecraftEdu in the classroom. One Swedish school, for instance, made it a compulsory part of the curriculum in 2013. This is the first time that the game has been distributed for educational purposes across an entire region.

“We’ve seen Minecraft being used to teach everything from coding to physics,” Nagurski said, “but I think that there’s a real opportunity to develop more of these kind of creative projects, too.”

TeacherGaming has also developed an educational version of Kerbal Space Program, an elaborate rocketry and astrophysics simulation that serves as a fantastic playground for students to get their hands dirty with rocket science. Gaming in the classroom has come a long way since the days of Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing and The Oregon Trail.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Product Review

Anthem shows a glimmer of brilliance that's quickly dampened by its grind

Anthem is an online shooter from BioWare that’s already proven to have a stunning open-world with action-packed combat that distinguishes itself with its story, characters, and lore. But will it continue to invest in those things as we…
Computing

Here's what you need to play games and watch movies in 4K on your PC

4K display tech is now cheaper than ever, but there's more to running stuff at such a high display resolution than just handing over the dough for a 4K-equipped display. Here's what you need to run 4K.
Gaming

Activision not doing itself any favors with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 loot boxes

New loot boxes added to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 have caused a somewhat uneven playing field for those who choose to spend extra money. Certain limited-time items can now only be found in loot boxes.
Computing

Between Intel and AMD, these are the best gaming CPUs at every price

What are the best processors for gaming you can buy? You don't need to spend a fortune to get an amazing gaming CPU and now that AMD is competitive again, there are more choices than ever.
Computing

Logitech’s G MX518 gaming mouse pairs classic looks with all-new tech

Logitech is relaunching one of its most popular classic gaming mice, the MX518. Now called the G MX518, it sports upgraded internals that give it a 16,000 DPI optical sensor and new and improved memory.
Gaming

One game console is better than the rest, and we're not afraid to say it

We've seen a relatively large influx of new consoles in the last year, including the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One X, so we've updated our recommendations for the best dedicated game hardware.
Gaming

Everything we know about Devil May Cry 5, including characters and combat

Devil May Cry 5 is just around the corner, and is the first game in the original series since Devil May Cry 4 in 2008. Here is everything we know about the game, including its playable characters.
Gaming

Apex Legends adds its first new gun, the Havoc energy rifle

Respawn added the first piece of new content to Apex Legends, the Havoc energy rifle. It's available now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC players. The fully automatic rifle can be modded to shoot single-shot energy beams.
Gaming

Samsung Galaxy S10 optimizations make it great for Fortnite

Samsung's new line of Galaxy S10 devices have been optimized for gaming. All three offer improved support for the Unity engine and the S10 Plus also offers vapor chamber cooling, similar to the Xbox One X.
Gaming

Having problems with your Xbox One console? We have the solutions

The Xbox One has evolved over the years, but so have its problems. Thankfully, we have solutions for some of the console's most enduring problems, whether you're experiencing issues with connectivity or your discs.