This Techland report details how a New York City school teacher named Joel Levin has created a version of Minecraft for schools called MinecraftEdu. Levin teaches second-grade computer classes at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in New York City. He also runs a Minecraft club for high school students and has been incorporating Minecraft into his classes for the past two years.
According to Techland, Mojang asked Levin to build a version of the game for schools so that teachers could easily set up their own server for the game. Levin also added an option to turn off the monsters "so the kids wouldn’t have to be worried about getting blown up." In addition, MinecraftEdu has added text blocks so that teachers can give students more context about whatever world they have created.
While the game hasn't been publicly released it is already being licensed by 500 schools around the globe, according to Levin. Of those, 100 of them are actively using the program. Levin claims that 250,000 students on six continents have access to MinecraftEdu. MinecraftEdu is owned by Finland-based parent company TeacherGaming LLC.
Techland's article goes on to explain how teachers around the world are using the required technology to engage students in such subjects as history, English, and social behavior. You can check out the full article here.