EdTech Innovations Podcast: Exploring Civic Media with the Engagement Lab

Last year, we kicked off our EdTech Innovators & Innovations podcast with a mini-series about the Engagement Lab, an applied research lab at Emerson College focusing on the development and study of games, technology, and new media to enhance civic life.

One year and 55 interviews later, this is still one of our top collections of interviews about how technology can be used to educate, inform, and make the world a better place.

So here it is, episodes one through five on the Engagement Lab and the different games they’ve created to inspire civic engagement.

E01—Interview with Director Eric Gordon

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In this episode, we introduce the Engagement Lab, interviewing director Eric Gordon to about the project’s history and future.

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E02—Promoting Civic Engagement with Community Plannit

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The Engagement Lab has produced a number of interactive learning tools over the years, including Community PlanIt, a civic engagement game that crowd-sources input from community members to impact decisions that effect their communities.

To learn more about Community PlanIt, we interviewed Project Manager Christina Wilson. Listen to our latest podcast to hear what she had to say about the project.

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E03—Teaching Disease Prevention Through Folklore in Ghana

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The lab often produces digital games to promote learning, but occasionally the instructional games are tailored to fit developing countries. One such game is Handwashing with Ananse, a game taught to children in Ghana to encourage hygiene and prevent disease.

To learn more about this global education initiative, we interviewed Wade Kimbrough, a game designer, researcher, and project manager.

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E04—Gaming for Good with Games for Social Change

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For this episode, we interviewed Mariko Davidson and Sam Liberty about Games for Social Change, a game development workshop that takes place in Egypt each summer.

Created in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), GESR and the Engagement Lab, the workshop teaches citizens how to design games for social and political impact, as well as serious development problems.

Some of the games are digital, some are made from paper, but they all serve a common purpose: to educate and create change where it’s needed most.

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E05—Teaching Results-Based Financing with RPGsunlocking health engagement lab game

This episode, we focused on Unlocking Health, an exploration and strategy game for teaching the principles of results-based finance.

To learn more about Unlocking Health, we interviewed Engagement Lab Project Manager Christina Wilson, who discussed results-based financing, the World Bank, and the fictional world of Zariba.

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To learn more about the Engagement Lab, visit their website.