The Oregon Trail is a bit of nostalgia we can totally get behind. The classic educational computer game was brought back as a tabletop card game last year, but this year is giving us one better! Kids will be introduced to The Oregon Trail in the classroom in a whole new way thanks to a partnership between Microsoft and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt that is bringing the game into Minecraft: Education Edition.
The basics are still going to be the same — get from Independence, Missouri to the Willamette Valley in Oregon without everyone in your party dying of dysentery. Minecraft promises to add a lot more to the experience than just a third dimension, though. Educators will be able to add a ton of lessons to the game, turning the game into a holistic educational experience.
Teachers will be able to sneak in math lessons by expanding on the need to budget and to pay attention to how much weight is on the wagon. They’ll also be able to add historical information about the places passed along the trail. Kids will even be able to use the advantages of the present that the people in that day sure wish they had — they’ll be able to open up a map of North America from back then to figure out if that wild ride down the Dalles is really the best way to get to the valley.
Microsoft is now adding The Oregon Trail to Minecraft: Education Edition, making the game available to educators and classrooms using Microsoft’s increasingly popular educational platform. In other words, just add one more reason to why we’re so envious of kids today!