Dedicated Server for Minecraft:EE
Could we please have an option to create a dedicated server with classroom controls? I have different classes that use the same world, and it would simplify things for the students and teachers if the world was "always up".
Also - are there any plans to increase the player limit above 30? I would love to get 100+ students in there for massive projects...!
Many thanks and keep up the hard work
I would like to say that there is a discord sever for mcee already. Here is the discord: https://discord.gg/mcedu. I hope yall enjoy the server. It is a pretty good community with 500 people in it already1
Yes there is a discord server for Minecraft Education Edition.
What we are talking about in this thread though is a software solution for a dedicated game server for Minecraft Education edition where we could have an always up world that wouldn't tie up the teachers Microsoft account to host it.
Back in 1.17 when the Multiplayer functions for education edition were stable and we could allow people to join via IP address and port, It tended to work well enough to have students Join the world that way and I would just stick the "hosting" player in a box in the bottom of the nether to keep them from interfering with sleeping in beds and the day/night cycle for survival worlds I would set up for the class. This actually worked rather well for us.
Now that the IP address and Port method of joining worlds is no longer an option. And there are tons of issues with joining multiplayer worlds now. I really want/need a way to have a "server" to host a world. The way it is working now, the worlds become inaccessible after a time to joining using the link, join code or connection ID or sometimes the Minecraft client simply shuts down on it's own. I then have to restart minecraft (sometimes the whole computer) and then re-share the Join code, link and connection ID.
Back in 1.17 I didn't have to re-share the IP address or Port unless something caused us to get a new public IP (which only seemed to happen if we had to upgrade our IPS's modem/router). I might sometimes need to restart the computer and minecraft but all that entailed was telling the students that it was back up and they could join using the ip address and port they already had info for.
Yes, it is kinda nice that supposedly now one need not make a bunch of changes like port forwarding in order to host multiplayer games. Unfortunately the fact that now we need everyone to go into their firewalls and whitelist a long list of URLs, and apps and still there are situations where people on the same LAN can't join each other's games for more than a minute and usually can't join them at all kinda defeats the benefit of this update now. I would have been happy remaining on 1.17 for another year for them to get the 1.18 update right. At least in 1.17 it was a little more like having a dedicated server.1
I couldn't agree with you more, Aleece. We've barely used Minecraft this year because of these problems. Teachers (myself included) don't want to spend time preparing a lesson only to take a gamble that the software will work.
I appreciate they want to make things easier, but removing IP address connections has ruined it for our school. We still can't get most connections working through the firewall.
I had been running long-term servers for a while now. But, just like you, even if we get passed the unreliable connection method, the host software stops working after a day or so anyway. I'm working with support who can't explain to me why join codes just stop working, despite the server running fine. I'm getting errors I've never seen before - going backwards.
The best thing Microsoft can do right now is turn off the forced update process and let us use the stable versions of the software until they get serious with the multiplayer development. They need to be reminded that schools are paying for this and it's getting harder and harder to justify the cost if it doesn't work.2
I work for a huge school district where I've been cheerleading M:EE as a transformational learning platform at the highest tier of the SAMR model. This year I have noticed a big shift with more teachers than ever willing to use M:EE in their classrooms without direct support from me. But, the firewall issue we are experiencing this year threatens to break teachers trust in the platform, and by extension damages my credibility.
Multiplayer capability, and teacher-minded UI(classroom mode!), not pre-fab worlds, is where Microsoft needs to invest. This platform enables powerful communities for socially-constructed learning. It is also the closest approximation to a working metaverse on the market. School districts will pay for this tech if teachers use it, but it needs to be stable.1
I understand the frustration but with schools the situations all have different software and devices that "getting it right" before updating is not something that can be planned for to not have any issues when a big change like this happens. With home networks we have seen this update run a lot smoother with personal devices. It's all the blocks and software deployed by schools for security that has to be addressed so that the app can work in such an environment. I hope this gives some clarification to help with the frustration.-1
I humbly disagree.
If you are rolling out a "big change" (by your own admission), you should thoroughly test it before forcing every single user to upgrade. As I've said a few times already, you could at least mitigate the impact of potential issues by turning off forced updates. This way, schools can simply roll back and wait until they have the time to manage this disaster, or wait for the devs to get it right.
I don't think it's particularly fair to blame how school networks are structured - it's no secret that school's want to monitor and restrict every piece of traffic running through the network and they (including myself) have been working very, very hard, putting in plenty of unpaid time to try to get this to work.
If you'd prefer home networks, get out of the education software industry. Give this back to TeacherGaming who made MinecraftEdu with teachers and schools at front of mind.2
I don't really agree that this update has made the home network connections better. About the only thing it maybe made easier is now there is no port forwarding option. I don't really count this as an improvement. It just means that students with access to devices at home are sometimes able to connect to each other even if they or their parents didn't know how to handle port forwarding.
The connections have become unstable and the constant re-starts mean that keeping up with sharing the Join information can be a real pain, especially when using for a remote learning situation.
I have been told that the game clients are not meant to be servers. OK, PLEASE PROVIDE US WITH A DEDICATED SERVER SOLUTION FOR MINECRAFT EDUCATION EDITION.2
I am a school Systems Administrator for a huge 2000+ student campus. Over the last few years MCEE has been a valuable tool in the classroom. This year since MCEE is now included with 365 A3 we have been asked to roll MCEE out site wide to all students. every subject teacher is excited, and each subject has seeming found a way to integrate MCEE into the classroom.
However, the one thing that is needed most is not available, that of course being dedicated servers. The staff have seen the massive achievements people have made in Java & Bedrock, huge, massive cities with glorious buildings that really show off a servers creativity and dedication. This is the kind of community we wish to push and promote allowing for students to attend various clubs where they can contribute to one huge everlasting world. A place where students can be inspired by each other and get encouraged to build bigger and better things, where teamwork is encouraged and most importantly students can get a real rewarding feeling. This goes for staff as well; we want to dive in and see what the kids build and show what we can build to them and each other.
As of right now, none of this is possible and that is a huge let down. In previous years we were able to host MCEE servers from the Bedrock server platform. When is MS going to realise that they are disappointing millions of children across the planet. Especially dis-advanced children who might not have access to play MC at home and will never know the amazing experience that is MC, an experience that literally taught me vital skills like socialising and teamwork, during my own younger years.2
I would also like to add that there is another server for a smp. It is hosted every day and many people enjoy it. There are account makers that make accounts, and they can all join the world.
Server link: https://discord.gg/CuASgznK0
Marcus Goluch I must admit, your post is inspiring! I have not ever felt before that I cared much about this issue. I suppose I have seen so many downsides... the difficulty of keeping students from disrupting the builds of others, the challenge of maintaining peaceable chat and behavior between students, that I have forgotten to keep my vision high.
Thank you. It is amazing what one good thought can do. I am inspired today as a teacher. Benjamin Kelly Bryan Sanders Dani Noble0
I suppose I have seen so many downsides... the difficulty of keeping students from disrupting the builds of others, the challenge of maintaining peaceable chat and behavior between students
To me, most of these things would be easier to "manage" in a dedicated server world than trying to do it in separate p2p hosted worlds. A dedicated server should have some logging available to at least monitor chat and who is in the world. In Large Class Multiplayer worlds I like to add a classroom management pack that I have modified for my group in particular so students can "claim" an area where they can build and keep other players from entering Or, only allow other players while they are present themselves.
Also, setting up a way to disable team damage so that a particular area can be used for PVP but when NOT in that area, they can't PVP so players can set up minigames but the rest of the world PVP won't work. In Java servers there are many plugins that allow for server operators to control and moderate their participants. Things like whitelisting who is allowed onto a particular server if for instance you have a world that is for one particular Class.
I know the controls are far more limited on Bedrock servers (Seeing as the official Bedrock dedicated server has been in Alpha for over 5 years and doesn't seem to have changed. I suspect that "realms" has something do do with that though.)
But there do seem to be some 3rd party dedicated servers for bedrock edition that are a little bit better as far as controls. And I expect that if they make the gametest api experiments available to Education Edition we could really make some great education tools to use with it.
Sigh, but for now I just have to deal with a game client that when hosting a world, shuts it's self down frequently and even when it doesn't, I regularly have to shut it down and start again when students stop being able to connect. Happened several times yesterday!!!0
I get why people want servers. I want them as well. But then I also don't want to deal with kids on a school-sanctioned space working without any teachers online with them -- something will go haywire and it's going to be the teachers' responsibility, even though they were not online at the time.1
Unfortunately, Even in a teacher hosted world How truly "Supervised" are the students the way Education Edition works right now? If the teacher is able to be staring at the computer screen the whole time they may be able to monitor the chat but if there are more than a small group of students working in a rather confined area, the teacher can't see everything the whole time. Students are able to join each other's worlds without supervision and teachers can't control that.
So I see a server that has logging capabilities along with classroom management controls to help manage permissions and what can be done in different areas of the world as something that could be Just as "supervised if not even more so" since it could likely be tied to a classroom mode sort of Control panel o r GUI that teachers could more easily monitor.
Only real difference I see between a dedicated server world and a p2p teacher hosted world goes is the p2p hosted world is very unstable and has no built in logging or classroom management Pack for minecraft education edition. I mean there is nothing stopping a teacher from putting a world up on an extra computer and giving the kids the join codes while they are handling other teaching activities, how is that any different than putting a world up on a server and making it accessible to the students?
I know it is possible with dedicated servers to set up ways to control the servers remotely via other apps. So it could be possible for the teacher to shut down the server or monitor chat from their phone even if they can't be sitting in from of the computer to monitor it. I suppose some programer types might be able to figure out how to create a "classroom mode" app to control the p2p hosting world that could be put on a cell phone but the problem still stands that you need to set up the connection from the Hosting computer each time you need to restart and I don't know a good way to copy and paste from my phone to the computer, especially not remotely when the computer has to restart.1
Well, Aleece Landis - not to put too fine a point on it, the problem is that students in regular schools (which a large proportion of MC:EE users would be) are given logins by their schools and at the discretion and and in fact the recommendation of the school. This creates an obligation of safety and security for every student in the use of the software. Keeping students as safe as possible from bullying, mistreatment and spiraling collective misbehavior is part of the expected atmosphere of educational pursuits. No school can make the entire world a safe place, but the obligation of every educator is primarily student safety.
As Bryan said, without even being present, there isn't even the option of assistance or supervision, but there will be the expectation of accountability. No AI program or mode can replace this expectation or this obligation.0
I agree that we want to make sure it is as safe and educationally supportive an atmosphere as possible.
My Argument is that the current situation isn't really any better than letting them loose in an unsupervised situation since if they are not able to connect to the teachers supervised world, they will simply go off and connect to each other on their own and the teacher may not even realize there was an issue connecting unless the students seek them out to let them know the world was not accessible.
With server software that is more stable for connections, Teachers could white list who is allowed on that server and be a little more confident that they will be able to join the world to work on their projects when they are supposed to. And It could be possible to set up an integration so that the chat could be forwarded to whatever device the teacher has in front of them even if they can not be in every world at once and it would not require making students hosting worlds operators in order to enable classroom mode on the p2p worlds.
I know on regular minecraft servers it is possible to tie a discord channel to the chat in a minecraft server world. Surely it would be possible to set something like that up for an education server with an app or GUI that teachers could monitor on their computer or other device similar to Classroom mode.
Just because a server could be up all the time, Does NOT mean the teachers would or should leave them up and running unattended. I'm just thinking the stability, added control, and supervision possibilities that could be used on a server hosted world far outweigh the possible negatives of having a Minecraft education server.
In FACT I really can't see any Negatives to it from an Education/Safety standpoint.
Only reason we don't have one I expect has to do with the fact that the Bedrock edition dedicated server provided directly by Minecraft has never left the Alpha stage and I don't think they have anyone working on it since Realms came out. An Education server would need to take into account the log in security for education edition but certainly Microsoft Azure Active Directory could handle that as it already does for accessing the clients anyway.0
No doubt, if teachers are not in the shared world, or are inexperienced compared to the students, there will be more issues. And you can't stop everything. Everyone knows that. I don't support the moves to disable Minecraft chat since kids could just build the F-word out of wool blocks or write a terrible book with the book & quill.
But in my nearly 30 years of experience working with thousands of faculty and admin and families, the presence of the teacher is priority number one with school-sanctioned work. Sure, you'll have some at-home group projects sometimes, but the work emanates from the presence of a teacher.1
A Dedicated Server should act just as a current teacher server does but with better controls and more reliability. I agree that students need to be properly supervised but without adequate controls this is impossible anyway. The current situation where everything has to be run off an unreliable teacher server is not ok. A Dedicated Server should empower a teacher with as many options and controls that is adequate at their disposal.
The features I would like are:
- Chat logs being saved
- Logs for actions like killing other players
- Report feature with some kind of playback of an offending action
- Whitelist/Blacklist students
- Time of day scheduling for availability
- Options to control if students need to be on the school grounds to access the server
- Ability to include mods for Bedrock
- Hosted or self-hosted
I think that it is crazy that this hasn't already been implemented considering the immense popularity of Minecraft and Minecraft: Education Edition0
ohh just imagne what a wonderful world it would be. 100+ students working together on a project. with alle the features that MCEE gives to the teacher. i do too vote for at server option.0
Heck, just think what a wonderful world it would be to have an Education Edition Server where Logging was enabled by default (didn't require an operator to setup the classroom mode connection manually each time the client crashes.)
AND could be accessed without needing to share NEW log in codes every few minutes because of needing to restart crashed clients.
AND be able to whitelist which students are allowed in the world for the session.
Oh how wonderful that would be.1
I have read through all of this, and am disappointed that there is still no progress. I would like something like java worlds have - server with something similar to coreprotect. Those of you running java - is it cross-platform? Are you paying for full accounts for all of your students?0
Java edition is the Original Not! cross platform.
I believe years ago there was a Minecraft EDU which was an adaptation on the Java Edition Minecraft but apparently it was retired many years back in favor of the bedrock edition based Minecraft Education Edition.
Biggest unfortunate thing is that the Bedrock Dedicated server software has never been as good as the server controls available for Java edition servers. Now I don't know much about the 3rd party bedrock server software that is available but that is all kinda beside the point since Education is not able to connect to a server.
As to people using Java edition in Education? I don't know how that works anymore as I doubt anyone is still able to use the old Java Minecraft EDU anymore. I know there are some outside organizations that use Minecraft for education but pretty much anyone signing up for those programs already has to own a copy of the software for themselves.0
They could offer Minecraft:EE dedicated servers on Azure cloud services. I'm pretty sure that they are working on it. A triple win for Microsoft:
1. MS Education and esports spot on
2. Minecraft:EE in the cloud is good for Minecraft too!
3. One more service on Azure with ROI0
I believe they had a pilot program a few years back where they were doing just that. But the pilot program ended and nothing more about it was heard by the outside world who didn't get to be part of the pilot.
How well did it work? Was it really a dedicated server or was it just an instance of the education edition software being run by a "spare" license on the Azure virtual machine so that others could join it?
Back in older version multiplayer was more stable. Especially when people could join via IP address and Port. But since Minecraft Education version 1.18 IP address and port are no longer an option and the multiplayer connectivity has become VERY Unstable which would probably make trying to run an instance on a virtual machine for a class to connect to even more challenging than having the instance running on a spare computer in the classroom.
Now IF they actually had a "dedicated" server for the pilot, I have no Idea why they have not developed the Idea further since we have all been crying for it for years.0
Knowing that resources have to be allocated to address this. . . . time, money, people, planning, etc. . . . would you prefer a server option to take precedence over developing other aspects of MCEDU?
For example, if the Chemistry set could be given 100 new recipes, would you prefer that over MCEDU servers?
I'm trying to be realistic about this suggestion and put it up against other parts of what makes MCEDU special that are still in need of A LOT of development.1
Bryan Sanders from my perspective as an elementary learning commons teacher, the core mechanics of the game (like persistent server options, and teacher controls) are more significant than most of the specific content that might be added. I see Minecraft primarily as flexible learning tool (like pencil/paper) and as a collaborative workspace or learning environment (like a whiteboard or maker space). Secondarily, I see it as a content source (hour of code lessons, worksheets, textbooks, etc).
I can supplement informational content from sources outside the game when needed. On the other hand, if features of the learning environment are missing (like the ability to supervise all the students at once, or simultaneously host multiple student worlds), then the variety of learning activities I can facilitate is more limited.0
Bryan Sanders, I want to reply to your question about priorities for MCEE. I believe that this thread is addressing the most important priority needed in MCEE. The very lack of teacher oversight of chats, student actions, and server access is why I do not continue to work with MCEE at schools anymore. It's an uphill climb to try to use Minecraft to teach anything when you can't monitor what they are doing or saying, and you have no resource to start any meaningful large joint projects because you are physically not able to keep the world active long enough or at the right times to bring in collaborative work from other classes, etc. My school had licenses and computers, ipads, and an elective class for MCEE...no more. It is not worth my stress and time.
Like many others, I have been monitoring this thread for over 2 years, in part to know that I did not face these struggles alone, and also to be aware of any progress to any development towards these priorities. So, yes, I believe that adding 100 new recipes to the Chemistry set or other developments, as important as those are, are not as important as making the entire platform truly usable and functional as a teaching resource. As soon as Microsoft makes this a reality, I will reinvest in MCEE. Otherwise, it is a waste of energy and time, IMO. Microsoft is really dropping the ball on this.
Minecraft has SO much potential to be a real educational tool. It really disappointed me that during the world Covid shutdown, they didn't see how they could have supported student learning if they would have focused on the needs addressed in this thread, including improving connection stability issues. And now that the world is moving beyond... they still haven't addressed any of this.
Thank you for your question!1
For my group, I would definitely have to place an education dedicated server above chemistry or even improving on the Agent and coding right now.
Or at least an explanation as to WHY the request for a dedicated server has been ignored for the last few years. As in since that Azure Pilot program was tried several years ago, as far as I know there was no announcement about why it was abandoned and no further steps or comments on dedicated servers for education have been made.
In my mind, the multiplayer functionality and improved teacher controls are really high on the list of things needing to be improved on MCEDU. AND I think a very good way to improve both of those things may well be via Dedicated Server.1
Andrew C Stephanie Frost -- I very much appreciate your input on this. I agree with you both! That's just the thing. We cannot expect teachers new to the learning environment to know what to do or how to manage students (who are likely more experienced) without proper tools in place. Some of us in MCEDU are transplants from JAVA MC, which came first. So, our experience as a game player and not trying to use it in school gives irreplaceable knowledge that we then apply to the school learning environment in MCEDU.
I selfishly want more Chemistry tools! But that's not good for the gander. :-)
I don't know how to solve all of this, but I am trying. I am available to beam into your classroom or office to help you or anyone reading this. Sometimes we just need to have some conversations with each other as educators to help move our thinking along. Maybe I can help. Maybe we can get a small team of Mentors on this forum to meet with you as a think tank. A live discussion panel. Something! :-)0
While it would be nice to have more chemistry tools or other options, that is not what teachers are currently asking for. We have years of requests for this from educators. I am happy to be a guinea pig and test options. I think most of us just want to know if there is still a possibility for dedicated education servers.0
I think my chemistry set question is getting misunderstood! :-) My point is that lots of things are not done yet in MCEDU. And as those of you who have struggled through the last few updates can attest, we have had lots of networking issues (and many that persist!). I think I am a bit concerned that while we need a server option, we might later have wished we were careful what we wished for . . .
I don't work for Minecraft/Mojang/Microsoft -- I'm a teacher like you! Been at it for nearly 30 years and constantly working with technology in the classroom. And I'm still at it! :-)
We are on the same team.0
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