Make

Get your hands dirty. Time to start making. Free, remixable apps by Field Day.

Aris

Researchers, teachers and students use ARIS to make mobile games, tours and interactive stories.

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Siftr

Use Siftr to make fieldwork easy. Got five minutes? Anybody can make a Siftr.

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Nomen

Create your own digital field guide, no coding required.

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Play

Field Day makes apps that change the way people see the world. play around, or remix them.

Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case

Unravel the stories behind mysterious artifacts at the museum.

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The Yard Games

Teach Science with free, beautiful games on the web.

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Discover IceCube VR

Journey deep into space to track down the source of a neutrino

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Atom Touch

Explore how atoms work with this tactile simulation. 8+

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Alien Gardener

Save a martian colony through research.

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The N Game

Explore the complicated Nitrogen Cycle with this board game, 16+

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Dominique Lark Teaches like a gamer.

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Learn

Learn how to use all the things Field Day makes.

Field Day Courses

Online courses to teach you make stuff with Field Day tools like Siftr and ARIS

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Forums

Learn more about Field Day apps, get answers to your questions

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Teacher Fellowships

You’ve got superheros in your school but even superheros need support. Join project based PD with Field Day.

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Research

We perform research at the intersection of theories of interactive media and situated and sociocultural learning. Our research addresses Mobile Mixed Reality, Games and Learning, and Learning Through Making.

Our Approach

We perform research at the intersection of theories of interactive media and situated and sociocultural learning. Our research addresses Mobile Mixed Reality, Games and Learning, and Learning Through Making.

Our team includes a professional design/production studio, which creates games and apps used by over a million users yearly. This affords us a unique opportunity to explore the ways in which large numbers of users create fine-grained data that inform our understanding of how to assess, design and theorize about how learning takes occurs.

In the course of our own design research, we have produced tools that allow researchers, educators, and designers broadly (including kids!) to create their own interactive media. This has led to collaborations and inspiration beyond our wildest dreams! Therefore, we are committed to sharing and supporting our technology freely and openly, including community-based online support.

If you are interested in exploring Augmented and Mixed Reality check out Aris If you are investigating Digital Field Work and Citizen Science, check out Siftr and the Nomen Project

Please share your research with us so that this community can continue to grow and benefit from our collective work. Also, if you are planning a research project that will be leveraging our technologies and tools, contact us, We would love to collaborate!

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality and Interactive Storytelling (ARIS) (2008-).
Combined funding from MacArthur Foundation (PI Squire,K.), ENGAGE, New Learning Institute, Pearson Foundation, Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (PI Brown, L.), Minnesota Historical Society, Covenant Foundation (PIr Gottlieb, O.), SITIAC Fund, UW Children’s Hospital, NSF and WI department of public instruction. An open source mobile AR experience design platform used by over 100,000 researchers, designers and learners worldwide.

ARISE (2010-2018).
Department of Labor. $1.3M. Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS). Develop 150 Augmented Reality simulated learning experiences for use by students in various health care disciplines including Nursing, Respiratory Therapy, Medical Assistant, and EMT-Paramedic across 26 nursing colleges in Wisconsin.

Play the Past (2010-2018).
Mixed funding including NEH, MN Legacy Fund and Best Buy. $4M. PI J. Sly & W. Jones. Design a mixed-reality mobile game to enhance the 21st century field trip experience and connect that experience back to the classroom.

Sustainable U (2015).
University of Wisconsin Office of Sustainability. $48,554. PIs Gagnon, D, Middlecamp, C., Lupton, C. Design a locative mobile game that engages new audiences to sustainability topics.

Citizen Science & Digital Field Work

SIFTR (2013-).
Project Director. Combined funding provided by University of Wisconsin Year of Innovation Committee, WI Department of Public Instruction, Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (PI Brown, L.), Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment. An open source field work and citizen science platform used by over 25,000 users worldwide.

WI Flora Citizen Science and Database (2016-).
Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment. PIs Gagnon, D. & Woodward, C. $130,000. Develop a new platform for identifying and recording observations, training educators and researching outcomes of participation.

Mobile Field Research Platform (2014).
University of Wisconsin Education Innovation Award. $63,120. PIs Gagnon, D, Middlecamp. Design and produce a suite of tools that support the distributed creation of mobile field guides, citizen science and citizen ethnography projects.

WeBIRD(2013).
University of Wisconsin Mobile Learning Incubator. PIs Gagnon, D. & Berres, M. $30,000. Collaboration with Ornithology Department through Mobile Learning Incubator. A pilot to research the affordances and results of adding specific game mechanics to a field research mobile app.

Nomen (2012).
University of Wisconsin Mobile Learning Incubator. PIs Gagnon, D. & McGee, S.. $30,000. Develop a mobile utility for identifying prairie grasses flowers, a research study into the efficiency and accuracy of digital application in comparison to traditional dichotomous keys.
Wisconsin Key to Woody Plants (2011). Wisconsin Environmental Education Board (WEEB). PI Woodward, C. $12,000. Develop a mobile application for identifying trees shrubs and vines.

Learning Games & Virtual Reality

Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case (2018).
Combined funding from Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Friends of Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Center for Education Research. PI Gagnon, D. $64,264. Develop a game to playfully introduce practices of historical inquiry.

Material Research Science and Engineering Center Education Outreach Games (2016-).
NSF MRSEC. PI Abbott, N. $176,000 out of $15.6M total budget. Produce digital video games for public engagement of material science research.

Polar Virtual Reality Exhibit (2017-2018).
NSF AISL. PI Ponto, K. $359,799. Develop a joint Virtual Reality and Multi Touch tabletop interactive for informal science learning about the IceCube observatory and astrophysics research.

The Yard Games (2015-2016).
WI Virtual Schools. PI Gagnon, D. $250,000. Develop a series of simulation games to teach complex science topics, grades 5-8.

AtomTouch (2015).
NSF MRSEC SEED. PIs Morgan, D. Gillian Daniels, AL. & Gagnon, D. $60,000. Develop an educational 3d touchscreen app to simulate molecular dynamics properties at an atomic scale.

The FIRM (2014).
University of Wisconsin School of Business. PI Gagnon, D. $7,000. Produce a game prototype to teach international currency trading strategies.

Thermo-Golf (2011-2014).
NSF TUES. PI Pfotenhauer, J. $199,000. Develop a game to teach introductory thermodynamics, study the effects of game aesthetics on player engagement and develop methods of real-time assessment based on player logs.

The N Game (2010).
ENGAGE. PI Balser, T. $50,000. Design and produce a card game to teach the nitrogen cycle.

Harmony Mixer (2010).
ENGAGE. PI Henke, J. $37,000. Develop a game to teach introductory music theory.

Cool-It (2008).
ENGAGE. $142,000. PI Pfotenhauer, J. Develop a digital simulation game to teach cryogenics as well as a method for assessing player competencies from in-game activity.

Professional Development & Youth Digital Media Production

AR Girls (2017-).
NSF ITEST. PI Stylinski, C. $1M. Research the impact of developing AR experiences on young women's interest in ICT careers, self-efficacy for doing science or becoming a lifelong learner in science, and perspectives on what constitutes doing science research.

Rally Wisconsin (2014-).
WI Department of Public Instruction. PI Gagnon, D. $998,000. Promote and support the use of games and making statewide through educator engagement and digital content production.

University of Wisconsin Mobile Learning Incubator (2010-2013).
University of Wisconsin SITIAC Fund. PI Gagnon, D. $302,980. Explore the affordances of mobile media in higher education teaching and learning.

Designing Wisconsin Experiences (2014).
Collaboration with UW Madison English department through Mobile Learning Incubator. Develop a design facilitation approach for student designed mobile experiences, research the ways in which learners make meaning through re-representation using digital media.

Learning History and Culture through Designing Mobile Games (2013).
Collaboration with UW Madison English department through Mobile Learning Incubator. Develop a design facilitation approach for student designed mobile experiences.

Designing for Digital Literacy (2013).
Collaboration with UW Madison Curriculum and Instruction, UW Engage Situated Learning award. Develop a design facilitation approach for student designed mobile experiences in effort to increase digital literacy.

Written by Field Day Lab Staff

DuBois, T.A., Olson, R., Cederström, B.M., Mathews, J., Gagnon, D. (In Press) Siftr: A Tool for the Folklore Classroom. Journal for Folklore and Education.

Mathews, J., & Holden, C. (2018). The Design and Play of Geogames as Place-Based Education. In Geogames and Geoplay (pp. 161-176). Springer, Cham.

Carlson, K., Gagnon, D. (2016). Augmented Reality Integrated Simulation Education in Health Care. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 12(4), 123-127. DOI:10.1016/j.ecns.2015.12.005

Gagnon, D. (2015) Educational Mobile Games and the Tools that Invite Participation into Ecological Investigations. In Ugolini F., Raschi A., Papageorgiou F. (Eds), Proceedings of Environmental Education: Innovation in ICT and intergenerational learning. (pp. 24-25). IBIMET-CNR: Firenze, Italy.

Gagnon, D., Vang, R., & Litts, B. K. (2015). Learning through design: ARIS. In K. Caldwell, S. Seyler, A. Ochsner, & C. Steinkuehler (Eds), Proceedings of the eleventh annual Games+Learning+Society Conference (pp. 282-288). ETC Press: Pittsburgh, PA.

Silbernagel, J., Host, G., Hagley, C., Hart, D., Axler, R., Fortner, R., Axler, M., Smith, V., Drewes, A., Bartsch, W., Danz, N., Mathews, J., & Wagler, M. (2015). Linking place-based science to people through spatial narratives of coastal stewardship. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 19(2), 181-198.

Gagnon, D., Stidwill, P., Hass, J., Snow, B., Osterweil, S. (2014). Ghost Stories from Learning Game Design: Surprises: Good outcomes we weren’t expecting and things we’ll know to worry about next time. In A. Ochsner, J. Deitmeier, C. Willaims, & C. Steinkuehler (Eds), Proceedings of the tenth annual Games+Learning+Society Conference. ETC Press: Pittsburgh, PA.

Gagnon, D., Holden, C., Gottlieb, O., Long, K., Quintanilla, E., Kavaloski, A., Lynch, S., Leach, D. (2014). Inquiry and Learning through Mobile Game Design. In A. Ochsner, J. Deitmeier, C. Willaims, & C. Steinkuehler (Eds), Proceedings of the tenth annual Games+Learning+Society Conference (pp. 458-459). ETC Press: Pittsburgh, PA.

Holden, C. L., Gagnon, D. J., Litts, B. K., & Smith, G. (2014). ARIS: An Open-Source Platform for Widespread Mobile Augmented Reality Experimentation. In F. Neto (Eds.), Technology Platform Innovations and Forthcoming Trends in Ubiquitous Learning (pp. 19-34). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-4542-4.ch002

Gagnon, D. McGee, S., Litts, B., Martin, J., Moeller, J., Heindl, N., Dougherty, P. (2014). Mobile‐Enhanced Field Research: Increasing Plant Identification Accuracy and Efficiency. University of Wisconsin Mobile Learning Incubator.

Gagnon, D., McGee, S., Litts, B. K., & Martin, J. (2014). Mobile-enhanced field research: BioCore plant identification. In A. Ochsner, J. Deitmeier, C. Willaims, & C. Steinkuehler (Eds), Proceedings of the tenth annual Games+Learning+Society Conference (pp. 458-459). ETC Press: Pittsburgh, PA.

Litts, B.K., Vang, R., Martin, J., & Gagnon, D. (2014). Learning Through Design with ARIS: Iteration 2 Digital Literacies Course. University of Wisconsin-Madison Mobile Learning Incubator.

Litts, B. K., Smith, G., Gagnon, D., Martin, J., Mathews, J. (2013). Situated learning and mobile technologies: Connecting theory to design. In C. Willaims, A. Ochsner, J. Deitmeier, & C. Steinkuehler (Eds), Proceedings of the ninth annual Games+Learning+Society Conference (pp. 210-215). ETC Press: Pittsburgh, PA.

Smith, G. W., Martin, J.G., Gagnon, D.J., Litts, B.K., & Gottlieb, O. (2013). Designing and Building Mobile, Locative Games with ARIS. In C. Willaims, A. Ochsner, J. Deitmeier, & C. Steinkuehler (Eds), Proceedings of the ninth annual Games+Learning+Society Conference (pp. 430-434). ETC Press: Pittsburgh, PA.

Gagnon, D., McGee, S., Litts, B.K., Martin, J., et al. (2013). Mobile-Enhanced Field Research: Increasing plant identification accuracy and efficiency. University of Wisconsin-Madison Mobile Learning Incubator.

Litts, B.K., Martin, J., & Gagnon, D. (2013). Learning Through Design with ARIS: Iteration 1 Digital Literacies Course. University of Wisconsin-Madison Mobile Learning Incubator.

Martin, J., Dikkers, S., Squire, K., Gagnon, D. (2013). Participatory Scaling Through Augmented Reality Learning Through Local Games. TechTrends, 58(1), 35-41. DOI 10.1007/s11528-013-0718-1.

Mathews, J. & Holden, R. (2012). Place–based design for civic participation. In S. Dikkers, J. Martin, & B. Coulter (Eds.). Mobile media learning: Amazing uses of mobile devices for teaching and learning (131-148). Pittsburgh, PA: ETC Press.

Wagler, M. & Mathews, J. (2012). Up River: Place, ethnography, and design in the St. Louis River Estuary. In S. Dikkers, J. Martin, & B. Coulter (Eds.). Mobile media learning: Amazing uses of mobile devices for teaching and learning (41-60). Pittsburgh, PA: ETC Press.

Gagnon, D. (2011). What teachers can learn from Rock Band, Facebook and Angry Birds. In Proceedings of 27th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning Conference.

Gagnon, D. (2010). Mobile Learning Environments. Educause Quarterly, 33(1).
http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/mobile-learning-environments

Gagnon, D. (2010). ARIS: An open source platform for developing mobile learning experiences. Unpublished Master’s thesis.

Mathews, J. (2010). Using a studio-based pedagogy to engage students in the design of mobile-based media. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 9(1), 87-102. Mathews, J. & Squire, K. (2009). Augmented Reality gaming and game design as a new literacy practice. In K. Tyner (Ed.), Media literacy: New agendas in communication (209-232). New York: Routledge.

Mathews, J & Wagler, M. (2009). Getting places: Using mobile media to augment place-based learning. Connect: Innovations in K-8 Science, Math, and Technology. 23(1) 22-25.

Pfotenhauer, J., Gagnon, D., Litzkow, M., Blakesley C. (2009). Designing and Using an Online Game to Teach Engineering. In Proceedings of the 39th Annual ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference.

Mathews, J. (2008). I was there: Place-based Augmented Reality games in the classroom. The Journal of Media Literacy. 54 (2,3) 60-65.

Squire, K.D., Jan, M., Mathews, J., Wagler, M., Martin, J., Devane, B. & Holden, C. (2007). Wherever you go, there you are: The design of local games for learning. In B. Sheldon & D. Wiley (Eds.), The design and use of simulation computer games in education (265-296). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishing.

Utilizing Field Day Platforms

Hellermann, J., Thorne, S. L., & Fodor, P. (2017). Mobile reading as social and embodied practice. Classroom Discourse, 8(2), 99-121.

Searle, K.A., Casort, T., Litts, B.K., & Benson, S. (2017). Connecting Space and Narrative in Culturally Responsive Making in ARIS with Indigenous Youth. In Proceedings of 2017 FabLearn Conference on Creativity and Fabrication in Education. ACM.

Thorne, S. L., & Hellermann, J. (2017). Mobile augmented reality: Hyper contextualization and situated language usage events. In Proceedings of the XVIII International CALL Conference: CALL in Context (pp. 721-730). Berkeley, CA: University of California at Berkeley.

Bressler, D. M. (2016). Engaging science learners through lived practice via a collaborative mobile game. In H. Crompton, & J. Traxler (Eds.), Mobile Learning and STEM: Case studies in practice (pp. 139-149). New York: Routledge.

Adam, F., & Perales, V. (2015). Experimenting with locative media games and storytelling in fine arts. In Mobile media learning (pp. 123-135). ETC Press.

Bressler, D. M. (2015). School Scene Investigators: A collaborative AR game for middle school science inquiry. In C. Holden, S. Dikkers, J. Martin, & B. Litts (Eds.), Mobile Media Learning: Innovation and Inspiration (pp. 87-100). Pittsburgh, PA: ETC Press.

Holden, C., Dikkers, S., Martin, J., & Litts, B K. (Eds). (2015). Mobile Media Learning: Iterations and Innovations. ETC Press.

Markouzis, D., & Fessakis, G. (2015). Interactive storytelling and mobile augmented reality applications for learning and entertainment—a rapid prototyping perspective. In Interactive Mobile Communication Technologies and Learning (IMCL), 2015 International Conference on (pp. 4-8). IEEE.

Perry, B. (2015). Gamifying French Language Learning: a case study examining a quest-based, augmented reality mobile learning-tool.

Thorne, S. L., Hellermann, J., Jones, A., & Lester, D. (2015). Interactional practices and artifact orientation in mobile augmented reality game play. PsychNology Journal.

Crandall, P. G., Engler III, R. K., Beck, D. E., Killian, S. A., O'Bryan, C. A., Jarvis, N., & Clausen, E. (2015). Development of an augmented reality game to teach abstract concepts in food chemistry. Journal of Food Science Education, 14(1), 18-23.

Crandall, P. G., Engler III, R. K., Beck, D. E., Killian, S. A., O'Bryan, C. A., Jarvis, N., & Clausen, E. (2015). Development of an augmented reality game to teach abstract concepts in food chemistry. Journal of Food Science Education, 14(1), 18-23.

Andrews, A., Litts, B. K., & Kalaitzidis, T.J. (2014). Participatory pedagogy: Designing a new literacies classroom. National Council of Teachers of English Assembly for Research: Elmhurst, IL.

Bressler, D. M. (2014). Is it all in the game? Flow experience and scientific practices during an INPLACE mobile game. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA

Bressler, D. (2014). Better than business-as-usual: Improving scientific practices during discourse and writing by playing a collaborative mystery game. Double Helix: A Journal of Critical Thinking and Writing, 2, 1-13.

Kalaitzidis, T.J., Litts, B. K., & Halverson, E. (2014). Designing for mobile media, collaborative production, and new literacies in college classrooms. American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting: Philadelphia, PA.

Kalaitzidis, T.J., Andrews, A., & Litts, B. K. (2014). Participatory pedagogy: Designing for change. 35th Annual Ethnographic in Education Research Forum: Philadelphia, PA.

Bressler, D., & Bodzin, A. (2013). A mixed methods assessment of students’ flow experience during a mobile augmented reality science game. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 29(6), 505-517.

Roy, C., & Frandy, T. (2013). Examining augmented reality as a platform for situated ethnography through the lens of the ARIS Wisconsin uprising game. The Journal of American Folklore, 126(499), 70-78.

Shea, A., & Ito, J. (2013). Project Tamago: Design and Development of an Augmented Reality Mobile Game for Japanese Language Learning. In EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (pp. 2281-2285). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Sykes, J. M. (2013). Technology—“Just” playing games? A look at the use of digital games for language learning. Language, 32.

Paterson, C. (2012). Learning history with augmented reality. Teaching History, 46(3), 23.

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What we Make

We make learning games, virtual reality experiences and citizen science apps.
All our games, apps and courses are free and available online.