Collective Shift and Concentric Sky Announce Partnership to Advance New Ecosystems for Learning

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With their combined experience in the education and technology spaces, the organizations will work together to usher in a new age of opportunity for youth across the US - and around the world.

"With this new partnership we hope to make significant advancements in education technology and workforce readiness that will benefit learners of all ages." Wayne Skipper, Concentric Sky

Collective Shift, an organization dedicated to redesigning social systems for the connected age and creator of the LRNG learning platform, today announced a partnership with Concentric Sky, an Oregon-based software developer and creator of Badgr. The partnership will allow both organizations to further their work in creating new ecosystems for learning.

“Every young person deserves access to learning that engages, inspires and equips them to reach their full potential, and the goal of LRNG is to make that a reality,” said Connie Yowell, CEO of Collective Shift. “Together with Concentric Sky and other committed partners from every sector, we plan to build out the LRNG ecosystem across the country and around the world.”

LRNG is a new, youth-centered effort focused on turning learning into a lifestyle. With LRNG, young people can pursue their passions, connect with peers and mentors, and access new paths to college and career. LRNG is working to close the nation’s opportunity gap by reaching teens and young adults who are locked out of traditional paths to success. LRNG was launched in 2015 as a partnership between the Gap Foundation, the Boys & Girls Clubs, Electronic Arts, the Fossil Foundation, the National Writing Project, the Best Buy Foundation, musical artist John Legend, along with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

LRNG builds directly on more than ten years of research, design, and implementation in learning and education. It is designed with the goal of creating tools that give all youth the opportunity to succeed. A key component of the endeavor is Cities of LRNG, which builds on the success of a three-year demonstration project and is now being implemented in more than ten cities including Kansas City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. Cities of LRNG network the rich learning opportunities available in the nation’s cities -- at school, at creative camps and classes, at science museums, and through workplace internships -- and link them to the larger learning ecosystem and to career opportunities.

In addition to LRNG, Collective Shift recently acquired GlassLab Games. GlassLab, which stands for the Games, Learning and Assessment Lab, was launched in 2011 by Katie Salen and Michael John, with Electronic Arts, the Entertainment Software Association, and the MacArthur and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations. GlassLab is focused on creating a methodology to integrate engagement, relevance, rigor, feedback and assessment into game based learning.

GlassLab reflects a major shift in the way students learn and acquire knowledge. Students today are expected to learn new skills, such as creative problem solving, collaboration and systems thinking, and mastering new technologies. GlassLab addresses these new challenges by exploring how digital games can be effective environments for learning. The GlassLab platform includes well known game titles such as SimCityEDU and CivilizationEDU.

Under the new partnership, Concentric Sky will lead the development of both the LRNG and GlassLab platforms. One initial focus of the partnership will be expanding the reach of Open Badges, an open technical standard for digital credentials originally created by the Mozilla Foundation with MacArthur Foundation support. The Open Badges standard has been adopted as the official credential interoperability standard by IMS Global and is used by thousands of organizations around the world to recognize learning achievements.

Concentric Sky began working with Open Badges in 2014, when the company’s CEO helped establish the Oregon Badge Alliance - an organization designed to be a focal point for collaborations between state institutions, employers, and the education community working together to build a vibrant ecosystem for digital credentials in Oregon. The success of that organization led Concentric Sky to launch the open source badging platform Badgr in late 2015.

“Having an open standard for digital credentials helps educators, learners and employers better understand the importance of learning achievements, both formal and informal,” said Wayne Skipper, CEO of Concentric Sky. “Collective Shift’s leadership in this area makes them a natural partner for us. With this new partnership we hope to make significant advancements in education technology and workforce readiness that will benefit learners of all ages."

With their combined experience in the education and technology spaces, Collective Shift and Concentric Sky will work together to usher in a new age of opportunity for youth across the US - and around the world.

About Collective Shift

Collective Shift is a nonprofit dedicated to redesigning social systems for the connected age. Collective Shift’s first endeavor is LRNG, which is a bold new endeavor to close the opportunity gap by transforming how young people access and experience learning, and the paths they can take to success. For more information, visit CollectiveShift.org.

About Concentric Sky

Concentric Sky is an award-winning software development company with a focus on product design and realization. The company provides web and mobile application development services to a wide variety of prominent organizations including The World Bank, The United Nations, Intel and edX, as well as major publishers such as Encyclopedia Britannica, National Geographic and Cengage Learning. Learn more about Concentric Sky at http://www.concentricsky.com.

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