Audrey Watters @ Hack Education
As part of my grant proposal, I included 25 versions of Minecraft and the server license. This will allow me to control the world in which the students roam and complete assignments.
The mod comes with a lot of other options too, allowing you to maintain the open-endedness of the original Minecraft or alter it substantially. With the mod, students are able to name their characters, and they can change gender and costumes. There are special blocks for the game too: information blocks that students can click on to get, well, information or instructions; blocks that will teleport students to a particular spot in the world; blocks that can be set in the ground to allow or disallow building on top; and border blocks so that students can be kept in one particular area. It's easier to control the students' characters -- teleporting them en masse to the teacher, or teleporting the teacher quickly to a student, for example, or freezing everyone's characters in place. Inventory is more easily manageable, making it possible to put a particular item in everyone's inventory.