Maintaining student attention in schools is not easy, especially so two years into a global pandemic. Going from remote to onsite learning has been a difficult adjustment for many students. According to Chalkbeat, schools across the country are experiencing an increase in behavioral issues, likely due to the change in routine.
In order to keep students engaged, teachers are mixing up their lesson plans with new tech tools. One D.C. company, Legends of Learning, is harnessing the power of gamification to help students learn and retain information in a fun and engaging way. Armed with $5 million in seed funding, the learning platform meets students where they’re already engaged: video games.
The free-to-use platform’s gaming library offers over 2,000 curriculum-aligned math and science games that help K-8 students engage with classwork in a playful way. Instead of filling out problem worksheets, students can battle enemies to progress through math curriculum or make digital creatures to understand key biology concepts.
The platform also allows teachers to review their students’ progress, give assignments and customize game curriculum to individual needs. Teachers can also integrate the platform with their own Google Classrooms, making it particularly useful for those in remote learning environments.
“The education system has evolved too slowly over the years, especially in regards to a move towards a more digitally-native experience,” said Josh Chapman, managing partner of Konvoy Ventures, a leader in the funding round. “With this transition, the integration of games into the curriculum allows for a dynamic and more equitable experience that we believe shines a light on what the future of education will look like. This is why we are thrilled to invest and join Legends of Learning for the journey ahead.”
One thing that makes Legends of Learning unique is its marketplace of games with over 500 game development contributors. Games that are successful with classrooms receive higher payouts and are elevated in the platform’s library ranking. This helps Legends of Learning continuously improve its offerings by weeding out poorly rated games.
Launched in 2017, the company says it has seen a lot of success in recent years, with 5 percent of elementary and middle schools in the U.S. using its platform. Empowered by new capital, Legends of Learning plans to continue to improve its education platform with new games and features rolling out soon. The company also plans to expand its user base to older students in the future.
Legends of Learning’s ambitions don’t stop there. Looking ahead, CEO and co-founder Vadim Polikov said in a statement he hopes the company will “be the learning corner of the unfolding metaverse.”
“Something you’ll often hear us say that we want to help students develop a love for learning. That’s because we believe that learning doesn’t stop when students graduate from high school, or even college, and that learning isn’t limited to the traditional academic topics,” Polikov continued. “The long-term vision for our company is that, one day, anyone who wants to learn anything through experience and play will be able to come to Legends of Learning to find an immersive world of game-based learning built by millions of game creators around the world.”
Additional participants in the funding round included angel investors Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park, Lightspeed Venture Partners partner Jeremy Liew, Kabam co-founder and former Y Combinator visiting partner Holly Liu, and Crunchyroll co-founder and founding CEO Kun Gao.