MacArthur Creates “Collective Shift” Non-profit to Focus on Connected Learning

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As I wrote about previously, MacArthur Foundation is winding down its support for the “digital media and learning” portfolio (I.e., digital learning, as we know it) into a new nonprofit. Now we know what it's called: Collective Shift.  Main points from their press release:

  • Collective Shift has received $25 million dollars in seed money from MacArthur. An impressive war chest to start off!
  • Their first project is supporting the “cities of learning” initiative, which has been rebranded as LRNG.
  • The CEO of Collective Shift is Connie Yowell, former head of education at MacArthur.
  • Glasslab Games (based in Silicon Valley) is merging with Collective Shift , and its COO is Jessica Lindl, former head of Glasslab.

What is the point of all this? According to Julia Stasch, head of MacArthur, the goal is to create:

a new organizational model that can attract a more diverse set of partners and investors, explore alternative funding models and mechanisms, and accommodate a more entrepreneurial and innovative approach to achieving the ambitious goal of reimagining what learning is and how it is supported.

So basically to widen the field of funders in the digital learning / connected learning space to support a wider variety of projects and organizations than currently exist. With $25 million of seed money and a new homebase in Silicon Valley, sounds like they've got a good start. And with Connie Yowell, they have one of the most influential and deft leaders in the field of digital learning  at the helm. And Glasslab Games is an interesting institutional base, focused on innovative gaming experiences for learning. So I'm pretty optimistic about this shift in our field.

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