I just got a hold of the latest build of MinecraftEdu, version 0.98 and I have got to say the developers are doing an absolutely brilliant job. The new features are just amazing. I cannot remember if I have already run through what they have added in a previous post, but now that I have had a play with these features I think I should let you know exactly how they perform.
First, the teleport blocks, when you place them, you can give them a name, then you can decide what other teleport blocks are visible to the students from that location. So my plans for this feature are 1) my animal cell tour will use these to go from organelle to organelle and to specific viewing platforms, this way the 'aesthetics' of the cell wont be ruined by walkways. 2) A thinking puzzle where students need to get to a particular place, only accessible through the teleport blocks, and they will need to go through a sequence of tests/challenges/team exercises to get to the only station that displays the goal station (more to come on this in the near future)
Second, the new way of changing build modes, in a word BRILLIANT! If I am in 'build mode' I can choose between the three build modes with a press of a button. So no more hassle of getting into the menu to turn long build on or off.
Third, the visual fill tool, again amazing, in the past I have had trouble using the fill tool effectively as it is hard to judge the areas when moving around, with the visual fill too enabled that is no longer a problem. Combine this with the fourth new feature, the 'locked build mode' which locks you to the centre of the block and you move only 1 block at a time and you can very easily build the right sized and shaped pieces.
Sorry for the boring post, but there is yet more.
Fifth, no-clip, no more flying around trying to get over walls or out of rooms that I have just built. Why not just walk through the wall. Only when in build mode though, so no cheating in survival worlds.
Sixth, the teleport blocks again, if you are logged in as a teacher you can easily go to any station you want, and if you are far enough away a nice little animation comes up while you wait to get to where you are going.
Seventh, the movement slider, do you find that creative mode is not fast enough to keep up with your students? Never fear the movement slider is now here. So now you can fly at amazing speeds in creative mode, and you can also run extremely fast in survival mode (only if you are a teacher of course) so keeping up with kids is going to be a breeze (as you go zooming by them).
Eighth, and I think last for now, is the simplified menu system. Now there are only 2 menus instead of 3, so if you want to do 'stuff' that affects the world, like day/night and the like, or those that affect you, like enabling your own creative mode, or even things that affect students like freezing or muting them, that is all still in the admin menu (p to get to it) added in here is the movement slider. If you want to build or teleport yourself or students around that is all in the build menu (b will get you there).
[EDIT]Sorry, there is a ninth, the fact that now students can use information blocks as a way of writing in the game. All you need to do is give them an information block and a build allow block to place, or get them to place their information block on an already placed build allow block and they can write multiple pages of text in game.[EDIT]
Well this has been a very excited post by me, I hope you have enjoyed it, I know I have had great fun playing with all the great new features that version 0.98 has to offer. I have got to say that the Edu mod is getting more and more powerful with every release, soon it will be so powerful it might take over the educational world ;)
Video tutorials will be coming soon so keep an eye on my youtube channel. Thanks for reading, remember you are always welcome to comment and let me know what you think.