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Rovio Spins Off Research-Based Education Initiative Into New Startup

by Mike Futter on Jan 28, 2016 at 04:10 AM

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Rovio has announced that it is letting its educational programming take wing as a new startup company. Fun Academy, which will license the Angry Birds brand, has detailed how it has and will continue to work in the classroom with Angry Birds Playground.

The initiative launched alongside a website detailing the program’s connections to Finnish kindergarten standards and developed by education experts. Fun Academy is partnered with the University of Helsinki, which hosts a research lab and Angry Birds Playground used for academic research that was opened in January 2014. Fun Academy is also partnered with Beijing Normal University in China for additional research.

Schools that opt to participate with Fun Academy receive teacher training, instruction materials with lesson plans, guidelines, examples, and cultural content. Students receive grade-appropriate activity materials for three- to six-year-old students.

So far, Fun Learning has partnered with NASA in the United States, nuclear research organization CERN in Switzerland, and the National Geographic Society. Angry Birds Playground is largely focused on science learning, with reading and social components for kindergarteners.

[Source: Fun Learning]


Our Take
While the comparison between products is not perfect, I found more substantial information and support in Fun Learning’s background information than I did in Microsoft’s debut of Minecraft: Education Edition. Fun Learning’s curriculum was designed with specific learning outcomes prescribed by well-regarded Finnish kindergarten standards. An academic research component has been in place for two years.

I suspect that Microsoft will eventually get there with Minecraft: Education Edition. But Fun Academy’s debut provides an example of what the pitch should have looked like from day one.