Minecraft is being made available to all secondary schools in Northern Ireland as part of a new education initiative by the CultureTech Festival, funded by the department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.
The scheme is expected to reach 214 schools, 30 libraries and community organisations, as well as a number of volunteer-led coding clubs. The project is expected to reach up to 50,000 children every year.
A maximum of 20 licences per school will be permitted. Licences can be requested on the CultureTech website.
The educational version of the world building game, MinecraftEdu, has been specifically designed for schools. It is said to have been used by over 5,000 teachers in more than 40 countries to teach art, history and computer coding.
“As anyone with a child will know, Minecraft is huge,” said CultureTech CEO Mark Nagurski.
“But what is really exciting is how it is being used by educators to help young people express their creative skills and develop their understanding of technology. As we’ve developed this project we have already been inundated by emails educators, arts organisations, tech companies and even local councils who see that same potential.
“Working in partnership with them, TeacherGaming, Mojang and Microsoft we see the next 12 months as a unique opportunity to develop exciting pilot projects with the potential to be adopted across the globe.”