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Thought Leaders in Online Gaming: JumpStart Games CEO David Lord (Part 1)

Posted on Tuesday, Feb 20th 2018

This conversation highlights Gamification in online learning.

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

David Lord: I’m the CEO of JumpStart Games. We build games for kids ages 3 to 13. Some of our products include JumpStart, which is our legacy brand that has been delivering early childhood learning for 25 years. School of Dragons is a science-based game based around Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon and NeoPet.

Sramana Mitra: Also set some context about how big the company is. What is the footprint?

David Lord: We’re part of the NetDragon family. We were acquired by NetDragon last July. NetDragon is a Hong Kong exchange-listed Chinese company with 50% of its revenue coming from games and 50% coming from education. We’ve become part of a $400 million gaming enterprise globally. It has allowed us to put our products into many more classrooms and build out our base from where we are today.

We’ve been very focused on relaunching JumpStart Academy, which is a slate of products that will be sold to both consumers and schools – both in a direct-to-education version, which is much more curriculum-focused and is also a consumer version. All of the products will be tied in so that teachers can use these tools to positively influence outcomes both in the classroom and home.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s double-click down on your various online education initiatives. Pick one and let’s start with what it is, how it’s impacting online education, and how teachers are using it.

David Lord: Our first initiative is Jumpstart Academy. We’re taking our JumpStart brands and putting them into one product base that will provide consumer products as opposed to a large JumpStart world with grade-based products that parents will find easy to fit their kids into the right content – JumpStart Academy Preschool, Kindergarten, and 1st grade. On the school side, JumpStart Academy will be a classroom-based product.

One of our sister companies inside of NetDragon is Prometheon which sells front-of-classroom-boards’ touch panels. Our products can be displayed as curriculum on those active boards or as software on whatever device the child has. The teacher will have a portal that will allow them to dive down and give out assignments. Whatever the teaching material is that day, we align our product to it. We’re gamifying the process of the teaching.

At the same time, we’re adding game-based learning, which is the application of the learning that has to be delivered to the student. That’s very exciting to us because the macro-trend in the classroom is how do we address adaptive learning and how do we provide better solution for a wider range of students with the same products.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in Online Gaming: JumpStart Games CEO David Lord
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