Thursday, 9 June 2016

So What Happened?

I have been holding off posting anything about the Minecraft Education Edition Beta because while I could get it running on my personal machines we ran into several problems getting it working on the school machines.

The first of which was an installation issue, which theoretically will be resolved with the 'proper' deployment method Microsoft is implementing for the upcoming early access. However, even though we managed to get the software installed with the support of the development team, we could not launch it, and unfortunately there was no fix forthcoming within the timeframe of the beta that would allow us to get up and running.

We are still unclear on what the issue was, we looked at Windows 10 version numbers, and we started with quite an old and apparently outdated version, which was the only Departmental image for Windows 10 when we installed it 6 months ago. There has been an updated image released, and even updating to that did not resolve our launching issues.

We then started exploring whether it was the network connection, more likely the proxy blocking traffic, causing issues. However if I had no internet connection on my windows 10 machine I could still launch the program, of course I could not log in, but the program would at least launch, so that was not a great deal of help in the end either.

I guess the issue is some sort of permission issue on the local machine, or an incompatibility with some other piece of departmental software bundled into the image. I am not really complaining, even though it sounds like I am, I am more disappointed I could not get more heavily involved in testing and use the software with students.

I guess I am also used to a different development method, when testing for TeacherGaming we got random builds to test out on a fairly regular basis. I now more fully understand that Microsoft is different, and that the style of development I am used to in this space is not the norm, nor is it likely to happen. There will not be little updates to fix the issues we see as we progress, but big updates that fix all the issues but take longer to develop and deploy. I also 'get' that it is Microsoft and they don't want to release 'buggy' software to the masses, even though I thought that was mostly what a beta is about.

Anyway that is pretty much my post that says nothing, but also sums it all up. Hopefully the fix I need to get up and running within my school comes with the early access program and I can get started exploring with students and also start developing new lessons based in the new software to share. It just doesn't feel right to share without trialling it to make sure it works in my own class first. Also once the early access program starts I can also share the neat features that are already in the Education Edition.

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