Education mode is a special version of Foldit intended for classroom use.
Education mode is described in a Foldit post titled For Educators, which explains how to download and install the education mode version of Foldit.
Education mode features a series of puzzles similar to the Intro Puzzles, but more focused on the biochemistry aspects of Foldit. Some of the education mode puzzles have corresponding intro puzzles, but others are found only in education mode.
All of the education mode puzzles feature help popups that cover the science behind Foldit. In contrast, the regular intro puzzles are aimed at a more general audience, and focus more on the game play aspects of Foldit.
The normal Foldit intro puzzles are also available in education mode, along with contests.
Foldit science puzzles are not available in education mode. Playing the science puzzles requires installing the standard version of Foldit.
Both the education mode and standard versions of Foldit can be installed at the same time.
Foldit user ids and passwords work in both the education and standard versions of Foldit.
Education mode is technically a Foldit Update Group, similar to the devprev group used to test new features. Users can switch convert a normal installation of Foldit to education mode by editing options.txt while Foldit isn't running.
The "update_group" keyword in options.txt normally has the value "main" or "devprev". For education mode, the value is "education", as shown here:
"update_group" : "education"
While updating options.txt works, it triggers a complete download of all Foldit components the next time the game is started. Users may find it quicker and easier to download the education mode version of Foldit and install it.
Origins and Scientific PublicationsEdit
Nature Structural & Molecular Biology published the correspondence Introducing Foldit Education Mode in August 2020, describing the goals behind education mode and the organization of the puzzles.