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O365 Version A3

Minecraft is one new advantage with update

The Students playing MinecraftOffice 365 (O365) update from version A1 to A3 comes with big changes and big advantages. One of those advantages is the popular 21st-century learning tool Minecraft.

Districts that have the A3 upgrade through Microsoft’s Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES) program will have access to free student accounts.

Minecraft stretches students’ imaginations, allowing for creative lessons in subjects ranging from computer science and coding to chemistry and wildlife conservation.

“The switch from A1 to A3 this year came with a lot of changes and a lot of advantages. The free access to full Minecraft user accounts is one of the many we’re finding,” Scott Pryzwara, chief of research, development & innovation at the Western New York Regional Information Center (WNYRIC), said.

There are some steps involved in getting the free access, though.

First, a device with Windows capability is required. Teachers and students will need an O365 educational user account. Districts will then need to assign O365 licenses to their teachers and students through the Windows Store for Education. The Minecraft for Education Edition will need to be installed on the Windows devices before the users can log in.

From there, students can be registered for a Minecraft account and begin creating their own worlds or interacting with their teacher and other classmates in a world prepared for them.

“Minecraft can be a great teaching tool. At WNYRIC, we have Antonio Scordo to train educators on how to navigate and instruct students using the program,” Pryzwara said.

For more information on whether your district has the free access to Minecraft, ask your technology administrator.

A “Get To Know Minecraft” training session is available at Erie 1 BOCES on Aug. 21 and Sept. 26 or at Cattaraugus Allegany (CA) BOCES on Aug. 2, 28 and Sept. 25. This session is a highly suggested pre-requisite for a user group meeting.

Minecraft user group meetings will be offered beginning on Oct. 15 at Erie 1 or Oct. 16 at CA BOCES. District permission may be needed to attend. Scordo is also available for in-district trainings by contacting your administrator and working with your Common Set Learning Objectives (CSLO) planner.

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