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Play Make Learn: Creative, Innovative Teaching and Learning Practices

Monday, March 25, 2019

This themed issue of DPI-ConnectEd will explore the many facets of the Play Make Learn. A wide variety of creative, innovative teaching and learning practices fit under the Play Make Learn umbrella, and many schools, libraries, and companies in Wisconsin are doing amazing things with them.

The stories in this themed issue reflect a broad swath of Play Make Learn tenets, starting with Lily Cain, a sophomore from Poplar, Wisconsin who was named a top-five finalist in Google’s “Change the Game” competition. As a finalist, she was able to work with developers to create her game, “The Other Realm,” which is available to demo on Google Play.

Professional companies in the state are also creating meaningful games with positive impacts. Filament Games based in Madison recently released a virtual reality game called Breaking Boundaries in Science. The game allows players to experience the lives of Jane Goodall, Grace Hopper, and Marie Curie through exploration of their stories, artifacts, and spaces, honoring influential women in science.

Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case is another free game created through a collaboration among Wisconsin Public Television Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Field Day Lab, and a cohort of elementary social studies teachers. The game allows students to play the role of historian, finding clues, examining evidence and primary source materials, and building their investigation, based in fun and entertaining plot lines.

In a separate world of competitive gaming, Esports has made a strong and steady showing in Wisconsin schools. Students from all over the state are joining competitive gaming teams, creating new friendships, networks, and breaking stereotypes sometimes associated with gamers.

The Play Make Learn umbrella extends beyond gaming. Public libraries and school libraries are offering opportunities for students and community members to participate in creating in meaningful ways. From using advanced technology situated in Lake Geneva’s Badger High School library Fab Lab space, to hosting a series of inclusive events at the Sparta Free Library, these spaces are growing the capacity for new and exciting ways libraries are serving their patrons.

For more information, visit the DPI Play Make Learn web page. Enjoy this themed issue, including the highlighted opportunities available for educators and community members to step into the Play Make Learn world.