Microsoft has used its blog to announce an expanded version of the computer game "Minecraft" to help promote learning in the classroom.

More than 7,000 classrooms in 40 countries around the world are already using the popular building video game "Minecraft" to help children learn social skills, problem solving skills, empathy, and even improve their literacy.

The news from Microsoft builds on this existing success of "Minecraft" in schools, with the company now acquiring MinecraftEdu, and planning to invest in a new and expanded version of "Minecraft" for school use called "Minecraft Education Edition."

This new version will offer extra features to support teachers and help encourage further engagement from students, developing their skills further.

"Minecraft Education Edition" will be available for a free trial this summer.

Using the website http://education.minecraft.net, Microsoft also wants to encourage teachers and educators to share their experiences with using Minecraft for educational purposes with those who are new to using it in a classroom environment.