Zynga To Launch Learning Games Accelerator

May 2, 2013

Zynga.org will spend $1 Million and partner with NewSchools Venture Fund to create an accelerator that focuses on edtech and learning games.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 09:  The Zynga lo...

Zynga.org is Zynga Inc.’s nonprofit organization that is “dedicated to inspiring people to live, play and learn through social games.” They aim to get gamers involved in social issues through “content and campaigns” within casual games.

The NewSchools Venture Fund is a “philanthropy firm working to transform public education for low-income children” by supporting entrepreneurial organization dedicated to innovating edtech.

Together, Zynga.org and NewSchools Venture Fund have launched an “edtech” accelerator “focused on enhancing the quality and reach of learning games and apps designed to improve education outcomes.”

The accelerator will be hosted at Zynga’s San Francisco headquarters, sharing office space and collaborating with Zynga employees.

The accelerator’s first cohort will include, Kidpative, LocoMotiveLabs, and Motion Math–three established developers in the learning game space.

Also included is Edmodo, a social networking platform for education that I plan to test in my classes at Temple University this fall.

I’m excited to see more energy and money moving into game based learning. If you follow me on Forbes, you know that I’m a big fan of learning games.

I see games, in all their forms, as the the mythology and fairy tales of a digital future. Take away the rituals of the school day and it is clear that storytelling has always been the method through which societies create civilized adult contributors. We do this by transferring our collective social beliefs and customs through narrative based learning. As storytelling becomes saturated with new interactive media, our educational initiatives must follow suit. Innovative thinking in edtech is not about creating robotic teachers, but rather about creating scale-able interactive pedagogy and curricula, to put the power of great teaching in front of more students.

I’m curious to see what comes out of this venture, yet another indication of the importance of edtech and game based learning.