There are many ways to play Minecraft or use it for educational purposes. Minecraft Education Edition, Minecraft Bedrock, and Minecraft Java are all unique in different ways. Each has benefits and things to remember depending on what you would like to do.
Minecraft Education Edition is the most restrictive and intended for use in school. Minecraft Java is the most customizable and gets the latest updates. Minecraft Bedrock combines both Education Edition and Java.
I am mostly interested in the educational aspects of each version of Minecraft. Still, I play for fun outside the educational world, so I’ve included those aspects.
Minecraft Education Edition vs. Minecraft Bedrock
Minecraft Education Edition was created with the classroom in mind. Minecraft Bedrock was created with gameplay and the player’s creativity at the forefront.
Can Minecraft Bedrock be educational? Yes, Minecraft Bedrock can be educational. It has a built-in marketplace that includes some educational worlds.
Can Minecraft Bedrock play in the same world as Minecraft Education Edition through a LAN connection? No, they cannot. These are two different versions of Minecraft and they need to play with someone on the same version.
Can you use Minecraft Education Edition just to play around? Yes. Minecraft Education Edition offers educational opportunities, but just like children will use math base-10 blocks as building blocks, they can also use the world of Minecraft that Education Edition exists within to avoid academics.
Minecraft Education Edition and Minecraft Bedrock similarities:
- Access to educational template worlds
- Access to chemistry
- Access to educational aspects
- Available for use on Windows 10/11 and iPads/iPhones
Minecraft Education Edition and Minecraft Bedrock differences:
- Education Edition can be used on Chromebooks.
- Bedrock can be used on Switch, Playstation, and other gaming platforms.
- Most educational templates are only available on Education Edition
- Non-educational template worlds are only available on Bedrock
Minecraft Bedrock vs. Minecraft Java
Minecraft Bedrock and Minecraft Java are the most similar and compared versions. They are both primarily for creative and fun gameplay and don’t put education at the forefront.
Can you play in the same world on Bedrock as someone playing on Java? The platforms are different, and you cannot join a realm or someone’s world over a LAN connection if you aren’t playing the same version.
Can you play Minecraft Java on iPad? No, Java is only available as a download to be played on a desktop (Windows, Mac, Linux).
Is everything in the game the same on Bedrock and Java? No, there are subtle differences between Java and Bedrock versions. Some Redstone functionality is different, mobs spawn under different circumstances, and some items are available on one version and not the other.
Is Java still updated? Yes, Java is still updated. Microsoft is not getting rid of the original version.
Similarities between Minecraft Bedrock and Minecraft Java
- Creative and Survival modes in both Bedrock and Java
- Worlds are not structured, and creative control for the player
Differences between Minecraft Bedrock and Minecraft Java
- Bedrock can be played on the iPad, iPhone, desktop, Switch, and PlayStation.
- Java can only be played on a desktop.
- Only Bedrock has access to Education Edition options
- Only Bedrock has access to the marketplace
- Java is more customizable by adding mods
Minecraft Java vs. Minecraft Education Edition
Minecraft Java and Minecraft Education Edition are the most different of the three versions. See the chart below for more information.
Can Minecraft Java access the chemistry options? No, Minecraft Java cannot access the chemistry options or any of the educational features.
Can Minecraft Java be educational? Yes, there are educational aspects to Minecraft. For example, Redstone is available in all versions and can be used to teach about electricity and how circuits work. You can also use any blocks to teach math concepts.
Can you make your own Minecraft Education world? Yes, students can choose free play by creating a random world and playing around.
Similarities between Minecraft Java and Minecraft Education Edition:
- Can both be played on desktop
- Can do free play
- Access to similar worlds
- Redstone and similar conventions in both
Differences between Minecraft Java and Minecraft Education Edition
- Java only on desktop
- Education Edition can be done on Chromebook, iPad, iPhone, and desktop.
- Java doesn’t have a library of world templates like Education Edition.
Minecraft Versions Comparison Chart
Each version of Minecraft is unique, with similarities and differences. I’ve created a chart to find easily what you need.
|Minecraft Java||Minecraft Bedrock||Minecraft Education|
|Educational Template Worlds||no||yes||yes|
|All Educational Templates||no||no||yes|
|Hour of Code||no||no||yes|
Minecraft Education Resources
I have no association with Minecraft, Mojang, or Microsoft. I am sharing my experiences with this game only.
Below is a list of pages on this website that you may want to review for more information about using Minecraft to teach, whether it is homeschooled, charter school, public school, tutoring, or other programs.
- How to use Minecraft for Education
- Which version of Minecraft should you use?
- How to get Minecraft Education Edition if you are a homeschooler
- Minecraft writing prompts
- Free Minecraft Education account
You may want these resources for teaching Minecraft as well: