Minecraft and Roblox: two mega-popular sandbox video games each with a legion of players across the globe. While there are key differences between the two, both games offer open-ended gaming experiences that A) encourage player creativity and B) are generally kid-friendly.
In our previous Minecraft Vs. Roblox feature we took a brief glance at these two titans of sandbox games, with an introduction to each and a cursory comparison of how the games stacked up against each other. And as we stated then, both Minecraft and Roblox are terrific games that can be enjoyed by anyone, and there is certainly no reason anyone can’t be a fan of both.
Today we take a look at the educational aspect of each game, which in each case is considerable given that both games have robust educational programs, complete with tools and resources for teachers and students alike.
Minecraft Education Edition is, as one might guess, a version of the game specifically designed for the classroom. Developed by Xbox Game Studios and Mojang Studios, it was released in 2016, supplanting Minecraft Edu, with which it is not to be confused.
In contrast to Roblox Edu, Minecraft Education Edition has lesson plans covering a gamut of subjects ranging from History & Culture, Art & Design, even Climate & Sustainability to Computer Science. This latter has an emphasis on coding.
Minecraft Education Edition also makes use of tutorial worlds in its lessons, in addition to a companion app called Classroom Mode for educators, who can use the app to monitor student activity. Minecraft Education Edition is designed for easy classroom collaboration, and a class of up to 30 students can play together.
Roblox Education was launched in 2018, with a dedicated website for Roblox Education rolling out the following year. And in November of 2021 Roblox announced the Roblox Community Refund (RCR), which is geared toward expanding Roblox’s educational program. To this end it was also announced that Roblox would be giving out $10 million in funding to support educators using Roblox Studio in their classrooms, as part of the RCR.
Since Roblox is essentially a game-making platform rather than a game in and of itself, the focus of Roblox Edu is to teach coding. The program has three resource sections for educators: Lesson Plans (of which there are 4, and were designed for easy classroom setup), Series (5 easy to follow step-by-step lessons available under the Creative Commons License), and Standalone Modules (21 in number, they are encouraged for use of “individual concepts or as part of a larger project series”).
As you have seen, Minecraft Education Edition and Roblox Education both offer a great learning platform, with plenty of lessons and resourced for teachers. For those looking to learn through either of these platforms, it really comes down to two things: pricing and curriculum.
- Minecraft Education Edition—Qualified educational organizations can purchase it for $5 per user/year. Individuals can purchase for $12 per user/year. Note that a Microsoft 365 account is needed.
- Roblox Education—Free, although there are microtransactions for certain content (typically 1$).
- Minecraft Education Edition—A variety of subjects: History, Digital Citizenship, Math, Equity & Inclusion, Computer Science (including coding) and more.
- Roblox Education—The curriculum focuses on coding and game development skills, with a wealth of resources on these topics.
Educators really can’t go wrong with either Minecraft Education Edition or Roblox Education. For teachers of computer science Roblox Education presents an excellent teaching platform with a price that can’t be beat (free).
But Minecraft Education Edition is the clear choice for a more rounded lesson curriculum, although the cost may be something to take into account.