Think fun: Games + Learning + Society

Using games with education
Think fun: Games + Learning + Society

Think fun: Games + Learning + SocietyWe all know cell phones and tablets aren’t going anywhere–so the creators of Games + Learning + Society in the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery have embraced this and used it to their advantage.

Think fun: Games + Learning + Society“If we’re going to live in this technological world with mobile devices, how can we leverage them and use them to make the best education possible? Games are one way to do it,” says co-director Kurt Squire. Started twelve years ago by a group of gaming enthusiasts and educators, the initiative now has fifty to sixty members, has expanded to several locations throughout the city and hosts a yearly national conference. They’ve spawned about twelve games for mobile devices, such as one with the UW Limnology Center, Citizen Science, which is for kids to learn about management of the Yahara watershed. “We want to help create the future of education by understanding how interactive technologies are shaping and reshaping how we learn and design better learning systems based on those ideas,” says Squire.

What is social innovation?

According to Stanford University’s Social Innovation Review, social innovation is a “novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable or just than existing solutions” and benefits primarily society as a whole rather than private individuals.

It includes these elements:

Increasing employment, productivity and economic growth

Justice, fairness, environmental preservation, improved health, arts and culture and better education

A social innovation:

Can be a product, production process or technology (much like innovation in general), but it can also be a principle, an idea, a piece of legislation, a social movement, an intervention or some combination of them.

Recognizes the fundamental role of cross-sector dynamics: exchanging ideas and values, shifting roles and relationships and blending public, philanthropic and private resources. Innovation blossoms where the sectors converge.

Can’t be understood, let alone solved, without involving the nonprofit, public and private sectors.

The M List
Madison Magazine‘s M List is a who’s who of organizations and individuals who are having an impact on our local culture and economy. In its third year, the M List recognizes those making strides in the area of social innovation. Last year’s list of innovators were in the food industry. The original M List, in 2013, honored the technology sector. The 2014 M List honored “Foodtastic” entrepreneurs and innovators.

Click here to return to the 2015 M List.