Before we begin
We have 546 readers subscribed to the Upepo newsletter! For reference, if we were all to be tightly packed, it would look like this
More normally perhaps we’d all pack an auditorium up!
I find it incredible that each mail that goes out is being read by at least 350 of you! And I’m so grateful for that! Thank you for staying tuned in and reading, responding and engaging every week!
Take a moment to share the newsletter with a friend? - upepo.substack.com
Game based learning
The promise of game based learning has existed for decades now. For the most part, game-based learning has taken the approach of what education researchers call ‘chocolate covered brocolli’ - wrapping what is fundamentally a boring, tasteless learning activity with an artificial game cover. The moment kids bite into it, they know that it’s ‘educational’ and a large part of the excitement immediately fades.
New models of thinking around game based learning involves a much more robust thinking of games. Research units have been talking about this for years but for the most part, it remains in niche research circles, away from practice.
One of the research-meets-practice units that caught my attention is Field Day Labs at the University of Wisconsin Madison.
I particularly liked their “why”
Scope - Games reach wide audiences
Depth - With a game you can teach topics of great complexity, going deep.
Evaluation - You can collect an incredible amount of actionable data.
Cost - Games are built to be played by a large number of users at low costs.
Going one step further, they help researchers doing all kinds of work to convert their work into actionable outreach in the form of playful, learning games!
But enough about the lab. Here are 5 of their games and what I like about them!
Lakeland! - Ages: 5+ - Build your town without destroying a lake and understand how complex ecosystems work! - Play it here.
Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case - Ages: 7 - 10 - Unravel clues, find real stories and become a history detective. - Play it here.
Forevermine - Ages: 10 - 15 - Be a material scientist who uses scientific modelling to save the day! - Play it here.
Atom Touch - Ages: 8 - 15 - Explore thermodynamics and molecular dynamics through tactile, sensory approaches. Play it here.
The Yard Games - Ages : 6 - 15 - Explore scientific concepts through 11 minigames ranging from earthquakes to magnetistm. Play them here.
(psst they’re free! )
Do try them out and share what you learnt from how kids interacted with them!