This week at Zynga’s HQ in San Francisco we’re celebrating the opening of co.lab, a new “ed tech” product accelerator for start-up companies focused on enhancing the quality and reach of learning games and apps designed to improve education outcomes.
True to its name, co.lab is a co.llaboration between Zynga.org – a nonprofit organization dedicated to using games as a force for social good – and NewSchools Venture Fund – a venture philanthropy that has been working to transform public education by supporting education entrepreneurs since 1998.
The goal of co.lab is to leverage the power of social and mobile games to enhance academic, cognitive and social outcomes for PK-12 students. Zynga engineers, product managers, analysts, artists and marketers are all working closely with the companies in the co.lab cohort – Edmodo, Kidaptive, LocoMotive Labs, Motion Math and Pluto Media – volunteering their time and expertise in an incubator-like environment. Our goal is to help improve the ed tech products these great teams are developing through hands-on mentoring, strengthening core game loops, unleashing proven mechanics, and layering in social features. Zynga is also helping with play-testing, player insights and analytics, as well as pricing, marketing, and distribution.
Equally important, co.lab will give these cohort companies access to each other. Already, the space is buzzing with the energy of tireless entrepreneurs, sharing data, swapping stories of success and failure, and learning valuable lessons from one another. On their own, these companies are focused on growing their audience and their impact on students, teachers and parents. Together, they represent an important and exciting shift in the way today’s students learn, and show the true positive results of what can happen when we merge technology, education and play.
Our hope is that the partnership between NewSchools, Zynga.org, the co.lab companies, as well as leaders from other game and tech companies who will lend their expertise, will ultimately result in the advancement of the field of learning games and education technology and create better learning experiences for 21st Century students around the world.
Welcome to the world, co.lab, we can’t wait to see where you take us and what we learn!
To learn more about the companies of co.lab’s founding cohort, please visit the co.lab website.
- Ken Weber, Executive Director, Zynga.org
Think P-I-N-K – Bloomingdale’s and Zynga are partnering to give Words With Friends a month-long pink makeover! Starting today through the end of October, players can spell their support for breast cancer research each Monday and Wednesday by playing mini-games on special edition Words With Friends game boards featuring Pink Partners Elizabeth Hurley, Donna Karan, Bobbi Brown, Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Tory Burch, Nicky Kinnaird, and Bob Carey. Play the games to solve each partner’s chosen word and help Zynga spread A-W-A-R-E-N-E-S-S to its millions of Words With Friends players worldwide.
Bloomingdale’s and Zynga are also offering an exclusive Words With Friends “Fight to Win” tee by Aqua punctuated with “QI” letter tiles. A Chinese term for life force and vital energy, “QI” is the most played word on Words With Friends with over 750,000 plays per day. Play “QI” in a mini-game during October and you’ll find a fun message! The tee will be available exclusively at Bloomindale’s stores and bloomingdales.com/pinktee starting today through October 31st. Retailing for $24, $8 from every shirt purchased will be donated to fund research, support, and awareness programs at The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Launched in 2009 and recently named by Apple as the App Store’s #1 free game of all time, Words With Friends remains one of the most popular online word games with an estimated 55 million matches being played around the world at any given moment. Words With Friends is available to download for free from the App Store, Google Play, Facebook, Windows Phone, the Amazon Kindle Fire, and Barnes and Noble NOOK. Show your support and P-L-A-Y today!
The magic of CastleVille is now available at your fingertips! Today, CastleVille Legends, a brand new CastleVille experience designed for tablets and phones, is available for free from the App Store on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch at: http://zynga.tm/playcastlevillelegends
Here’s what players can now enjoy in this new medieval fantasy world:
- Grow Your Kingdom: From Mossback Swamp and Dragons Roost to the Pinnacles of Ice, expand your kingdom into magical untouched lands.
- Rescue Heroes: Raphael and Yvette are back, along with a new cast of heroes that need your help. Players are challenged to free dozens of heroes from Wizards to Dragons to Daring Damsels and more.
- Explore Legendary Places: Discover rare treasure through searching ancient ruins, magical springs, and other Places of Legend.
- Sea Trading: Craft valuable goods and trade with friends and players around the world.
- Play Offline: Play CastleVille Legends on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch anywhere, anytime; no Internet connection required in offline mode.
- Enjoy Stunning Art and Animations: Transport yourself to an enchanting, ever-changing world with stunning art and animations.
CastleVille Legends is available today for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPad, and iPod touch or at www.AppStore.com and coming soon to Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.