Three Steps to Making A+ Educational Sponsored Content
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By Jackie Ricords, Senior Educational Strategist June 05, 2017

Digital explorations that motivate kids to recycle. Games that encourage girls to consider STEM careers. Interactive learning experiences about the science behind race.

Educational games can change the way students think and behave, and that reality is leading to interesting collaborations for sponsored educational content, especially for materials aimed at the K-12 audience.

Whether your organization is a non-profit or a business, if you have a message to communicate to children or young adults – you can sponsor a high-quality educational learning experience.

If you want to sponsor an educational game, be sure to consider the following:

1. Know what educators need

Consider the message that you want to communicate and find the right curriculum match.

For example, a long-time d’Vinci Interactive partner is the Education & Community Involvement Branch (ECIB) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). ECIB wanted to create a series of interactives to fill the void in genetics and genomics educational tools for teachers. To make sure they reached the right audience, they attended the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) and led a conference session covering what tools biology educators need and how they find the right online tools.

During the creation of the In and Beyond Africa interactive, d’Vinci held online meetings with educators to get their feedback, as well as distributed online surveys. The end result of the collaboration is a series of learning experiences that both fulfill the mission of the ECIB and the needs of biology teachers.

2. Understand how educators will use it

Successful educational sponsored content requires overcoming technology and curriculum hurdles.

If you want to create a learning experience that can be used in a wide variety of schools, you need to define the technology requirement and test your game with educator partners. Nothing is worse for a teacher than experiencing technical issues in front of a class of eager students!

d’Vinci and PBS LearningMedia recently collaborated to create an interactive titled the Electoral Decoder. d’Vinci created an introductory video for the online tool to allow teachers to feel comfortable with the content.

In order for educators to make the most out of sponsored content, include an educator guide with specific references to all relevant curricular tie-ins and ideas for additional classroom activities. Features such as certificates make it easier for teachers to assign the educational sponsored content for at-home work.

3. Leverage the expertise of the partners

Making a high-quality educational game is not a quick or easy content marketing option, but it can bring buy-in for an important topic. When d’Vinci partnered with National Geographic, the sponsor of the educational content was Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin was involved with the brainstorming for the games and had their engineers assist with confirming specifics about current projects (such as asteroid research). The engineers also visited schools to introduce the games.

When you create a valuable educational tool for teachers, you will connect your brand with a receptive, loyal audience. And you have the added bonus of sharing your educational information with all of their students!

Additional K-12 Sponsored Content Created by d'Vinci:

National Geographic Education's Challenge: Robots, Sponsored by Lockheed Martin and its Engineers in the Classroom Series

Discovery Education's Life of a Can, Sponsored by Novelis

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