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Play Make Learn

A wide variety of creative, innovative teaching and learning practices fit under the Play Make Learn umbrella. Playful learning encompasses using games, creating games with or for learners, and adopting game-like elements for the classroom (gamification). In addition to making games and other digital artifacts, makerspaces offer a variety of ways for learners to build their knowledge while creating physical items. Strengths of this approach include giving learners more agency and a setting to safely experiment and fail, plus the ability to explore identities, locations, and systems they normally couldn't.  This page serves as a jumping-off point for those interested in these pedagogical tools and techniques.

Wisconsin Connections

Wisconsin is fortunate to be a growing hub for these topics and resources. Here is a short list of some free example resources.  Find or share more in WISELearn Resources.

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Field Day

This UW-Madison lab makes games and game-making platforms to enhance learning through play, technology, and creativity. 

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Gear Learning

This game development studio at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research provides dynamic game development for researchers, outreach groups, and external educational partners.

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Filament Games

Filament's mission is to "create playful experiences that improve people's lives."  Although most of their content has a cost, free resources include:

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M+Dev 2020


This Midwest game developer conference returns to Madison, February 14th, 2020.  This may be of interest to any aspiring game creators, plus there are contests for game and art submissions.  Find out more at 

More resources coming soon...

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Check back soon for specific resources for different content areas!

Play Make Learn Conference - August 13-14, 2020

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Want to dive deeper and connect with peers? Check out the Play Make Learn conference in Madison every August:

Union South, UW-Madison 1308 W. Dayton St., Madison, WI 53715

For questions about this information, contact David McHugh (608) 267-2278