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Thought Leaders in Online Education: David Lord, CEO of JumpStart (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Apr 18th 2016

This discussion takes us into the realm of learning games and their future.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as Jumpstart.

David Lord: I’m the CEO of JumpStart. JumpStart has been the leader in learning-based games for the past 25 years. JumpStart was founded by Bill Gross before Idealab. Our key brands are JumpStart Math Blaster and School of Dragons. We have been educating children, which is our mission, for the past 20 years.

Sramana Mitra: Children of what age do you focus on?

David Lord: We try and build products and subject matter that apply to children of all ages, but our core age range is kinder preparation to K-3. Math Blaster targets much older children. School of Dragons is a science-based game so the core ages there are 13 to 17. Believe it or not, 30% of that audience is 13 to 22. DreamWorks is an investor in Jumpstart. That’s our first brand build after a movie How to Train Your Dragon. It’s about bringing the brand to education to help further that cause of learning.

Sramana Mitra: First and foremost, what are the trends in the learning games industry? How do your products illustrate those trends?

David Lord: I think there are a couple of very interesting trends that are going on right now. We’re just at the middle point of the mobile trend. There has been a huge shift from online and various devices on to the mobile platform especially the tablet, which is a great learning tool. Now, we’re at the beginning of two new phases especially in learning as opposed to gaming.

Number one is, we’re almost at the end of everything-has-to-be-assessment, and on to a new phase of adaptive learning. The focus is now on the ability to provide a product to hundreds and thousands of different children and with each child, the product caters to that child specifically. That’s one significant trend that is just at the beginning of its lifecycle.

The second important trend would be virtual reality as a learning platform. While gaming is going to be a great platform for virtual reality, imagine a history game that takes you back in time and you literally live through the period. For School of Dragons, you fly through clouds. This is essentially taking all of the learning and putting it right on your head. The trends and opportunities is almost a white board where you can just create a blank space. It is really phenomenal and is really an exciting time for our company.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in Online Education: David Lord, CEO of JumpStart
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