Remote Learning With Minecraft: Education Edition Across the INTERNET!

Update 8th April 2020 The team at Minecraft: Education Edition have posted a great PDF guide to multi-player gaming – check it out here.

I’ve blogged a lot about Minecraft: Education Edition and what an incredible tool it is for teaching 21st Century skills such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity – not to mention coding!

Today I am blown away by the fact you can play across the internet using Join Codes

Historically, Minecraft: Education Edition was only playable across the Local Area Network (LAN) however with the launch of Join Codes this has opened up Internet play as well. Without further ado, I’ll show you how easy it is to play with the help of my good friend Dan Bowen:

Earlier this week I wrote a post collating a HEAP of amazing resources to help classroom teachers, IT Administrators and parents learn teach and effectively during this period of increased remote learning and self isolation – check it out here.

Adding Minecraft: Education Edition to the list of tools that educators and students can use in remote learning scenarios absolutely changes the game (excuse the pun!)

So What Needs To Be Configured?

As per the video above, simply sharing the Join Code is sufficient for the guest user to enter the world, however the host does need to take some steps to allow this. The official M:EE blog has some guides here, but it all comes down to something called “port forwarding” – honestly, it’s not as scary as it sounds!

To allow Minecraft:Education Edition to communicate across the internet, the host needs to allow their Minecraft application to forward port #19132 across the internet, thus allowing the guest to join to their world. The slightly tricky part here is:

  • Every student/teacher will likely have a different router at home which will have it’s own configuration methodology.
    • Never fear! The great website PortForward has step-by-step guides for just about every router under the sun, including my FritzBox!
  • You will need the administrator username/password for your router to make these changes.
    • You only need to make the change once, and then it should be fine for that device (if you intend to host worlds on multiple devices, you’ll need to configure the port forwarding for each device.

So what does this look like?

Here is the setting on my FritzBox:

Port Forwarding2

The numbers in red ink above correspond to:

  1. My device name – this is my Surface Laptop and is what I’m configuring the port forwarding for (remember, if I was to do this from an iPad I’d need to also set up port forwarding for that device)
  2. My internal IP address associated with my Surface Laptop – these can change from time to time, so if it stops working, you may need to set the rule up again
  3. MAC Address – this is the unique hardware identifier of the wireless card in my laptop and is used to identify the laptop on the internal network
  4. The routing rules I’ve configured to forward ports

Port Forwarding

Note that I’ve set up TWO rules – one for TCP traffic and one for UDP traffic, but both on the same port #19132 (you don’t really need to understand the technology behind this, but you DO need to configure the routing rules correctly).

Note that there is a green dot to the left of my two rules showing the port forwarding is active and working correctly.

Internet Play With Minecraft: Education Edition Is A Game Changer

The awesome team at Minecraft: Education Edition made an announcement last week, providing both free resources for remote learning AND free access to Minecraft:EE through to the end of June 2020 – check out this announcement here.

If you’re new to Minecraft:EE I suggest you check out my Ultimate Setup Guide to Minecraft:EE that will include all the information you should ever need to get up and running.

As students and educators come to terms with self-isolation and remote learning, I’d also like to call attention to The Mindful Knight world and lesson plan:

Learning Objectives

  • SELF-AWARENESS An individual has the ability to identify and name one’s emotions and their influence on behavior.
  • COPING SKILLS An individual develops and demonstrates the ability to regulate emotions, thoughts and behaviors in context with people different than oneself.
  • SOCIAL MANAGEMENT An individual has the ability to make safe and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions.

Final Thoughts

What are you waiting for? Get stuck into playing Minecraft: Education Edition across the internet – and use this time of remote learning to build something incredible.

Wondering where to get started?

Check out the 2020 Minecraft Education Challenge to engage students in creative problem solving – it’s an awesome way for students to remain connected with multiplayer Minecraft: Education Edition over the internet whilst remaining at home. The details are all here.

NOTE: even though Join Codes allow you to play across the internet, you can still only connect with other users inside your Office365 Tenant – i.e. your fellow students and teachers. You can not play inter-school at this stage.

10 Comments

  1. Vladyslav Donchenko April 6, 2020
    • Sam McNeill April 6, 2020
      • Vladyslav Donchenko April 24, 2020
      • Sam McNeill April 24, 2020
  2. Hannah April 18, 2020
    • Sam McNeill April 18, 2020
      • Hannah April 18, 2020
      • Sam McNeill April 20, 2020
  3. Tak Peters April 29, 2020
    • Sam McNeill April 30, 2020

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