David McCool Muzzy Lane Meet Education Project EDUKWEST

MEP #045 with David McCool, President and CEO of Muzzy Lane

In this episode of MEP, David McCool, President and CEO of Muzzy Lane, joins the program to talk about educational gaming and education technology in general.

Guest Bio:

David McCool has been in the software industry for over 20 years. He co-founded Muzzy Lane Software in 2002 and serves as its President and CEO. Dave has played a key role in the design of Muzzy Lane’s software and games. He led Muzzy Lane’s very successful launch of the Making History Gaming Headquarters, an interactive website that allows Making History players to chat, share game mods, review and rate content, and post After Action Reports. Prior to Muzzy Lane Dave co-founded Aptis Communications, a VC-funded developer of carrier- class networking products, in 1997. As Director of Software Dave built and ran a 25 person software group and was the architect of the Aptis software system. The company was sold to Nortel Networks in 1998 and went on to do more than $600 million dollars in revenue from its CVX product line.

Dave began his career at Shiva Corporation, a developer of network-based peripherals, in 1987 as the 3rd employee. During his 10 years at Shiva he rose from Software Engineer to Business Unit Manager, also playing key software design and management roles along the way. Shiva went public in a very successful IPO in 1994. Dave graduated fromMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1987 with a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Show Notes:

(01:55) Dave’s background

(04:11) I’d like to dig into the process in the development of the game. Just my assumption, tell me if I’m right or wrong, and try to elaborate on it. You kind of leverage the internal talents you have of your developers and designers, and then you also partner with these content providers and subject matter experts in the development of these games. Is that correct?

(06:00) Is it just publishers that you’re working with and some instructors and subject matter experts? Do you see something that’s more commercial with some of the games that you’re coming out with or are you just focused on working inside the formal schooling?

(07:00) Niall Ferguson

(07:44) What are the other future projects, what are the current projects you’re working on now?

(08:53) I always like to ask about the efficacy of some of these initiatives. Do you have any data or analytics that you’ve worked with the publishers on how students have engaged and how these have led to students’ success or student outcomes?

(09:53) Do you see any future iterations now that we’re seeing some of these really new emerging models come in education as far as competency-based education, skills-based learning? Do you see an alignment or a fit for educational gaming as you see it with these new models?

(10:29) College for America

(12:17) What do you see as a future developments in the next five to six years with educational gaming?

(13:35) On Nintendo and kids on iPads playing games

(14:15) What gets you most excited about the future of education and learning?

(15:45) What about what gets you most frustrated about the future of education and learning?

(16:35) You’ve been successful in this space since 2002. With all the influx of venture capital and movement in education technology in general, what is your take on it? What do you think the implications are of the increased interest in education technology?

(18:08) If you could have dinner with one person you admire, past or present, who would it be and why?

*Winston Churchill


Meet Education ProjectFor more episodes featuring thought leaders in education visit MeetEducationProject.com, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and follow Nick DiNardo on Twitter.

Nick DiNardo is the founder and host of the Meet Education Project, a podcast series featuring entrepreneurs, VCs and thought leaders taking action on the future of learning. Nick has worked in education for 10 years, working for some of the big players (Pearson & McGraw-Hill), as VP of Marketing for a seed stage ed tech startup, and an independent consultant. He also serves on the board of directors for Argosy Collegiate Charter School in Fall River, MA. When he's not chatting about the future of learning, Nick is reading, traveling, golfing, or drinking a glass of whisky (sometimes, all of the above).