Gear Learning is part of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Education

Our mission is to Design and develop games to help make learning complex content accessible and fun.

Our Services

Gear Learning at UW--Madison’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research provides a dynamic hands-on game development resource for campus researchers, outreach groups and external educational partners. We make products, teams and companies better.

Gear Learning games are based on inspiring design, proven instructional methods, emerging research and sound business strategy. We have a long history of:

  • building technically engaging and visually stunning learning games,
  • forming strong and lasting consulting relationships with subject matter experts, and
  • cultivating partnerships across academia and industry to bring the best people together and make projects happen.

Our Products

We build award-winning games across ages, content and devices for formal and informal learning environments. Our platforms and content range from toddler math apps and interactive tables at the New York Hall of Science, to empathic accuracy, neuroscience and museum exhibits that teach the basics of electrical circuits.

Throughout our work in industry and academia, we apply the principles of interactive entertainment to new subject areas and build sound pedagogy into innovative products.

Our highly specialized group of designers and developers are helping to shape the way people learn. You can experience our games by visiting our product portfolio.

Our UW Affiliation

We believe that better learning games can be made in a university environment.

By working with Gear you are working with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. As one of the oldest and most respected education research centers in the world, WCER is located in the heart of Wisconsin’s flagship and nationally top-ranked research university. It is part of the university’s highly-ranked public School of Education.

As part of a leading educational institution like UW--Madison, Gear gains a distinct advantage in designing and developing games for learning. Our office location in the Educational Sciences Building places us in close proximity to the many world-renowned scientists, educators and collaborators who have contributed to the university’s rich foundation in game learning research and continue work on the cutting edge today.

We share WCER as a home with more than 100 research projects and nearly 500 faculty, staff and graduate students, including world-class evaluators we depend upon to determine if our games meet their set goals.

We benefit from unique collegial working relationships and direct access to the research and expertise of these top education scholars. We also connect with many networks, outreach programs, student organizations and other research institutes across campus to recruit focus group participants and game play testers.

“The Gear team is a natural fit within WCER. They put into practice the deep research on digital media learning conducted at UW―Madison for the benefit of colleagues on campus, and external partners locally and around the world. UW researchers provide exciting content and careful oversight to ensure factual accuracy in their games. WCER’s world-class evaluators study use of the games to measure their impact on student learning.” ― Bob Mathieu, WCER Director

Our Backstory

The team that that became Gear Learning met in Madison, Wis., in 2009 while studying game development and design in college. We immediately bonded through our passion for gaming and game development. Soon we began designing our own academic program to keep pace with our growing skills and boundless enthusiasm for our field of study and future profession and field.

We were hired and honed our professional skills by working closely with industry pioneers Kurt Squire and Scot Osterweil. Our training ground was within game development groups affiliated with MIT and UW―Madison, including Games + Learning + Society, one of the longest standing games-for-learning research programs in the world.

We have deep roots and a passionate commitment for building research into our work and for using proven findings to improve games as learning tools.

“Establishing GEAR is a huge step forward for the UW―Madison School of Education. It gives faculty a top-notch team to enable forefront games research, and provides students an excellent place for hands-on learning opportunities. Gear both increases the validity of research findings on how people learn with technology, while giving projects a much greater chance of going to market and making a difference in the world. I'm proud to have assembled the GEAR team, delighted with their work, and gratified that the WCER is investing in them as people and as a group.” ― Kurt Squire, co-founder Games + Learning + Society

Our Friends

Over the years we've had the privilege of working with some great folks. Here are just a few!

Working with us

First Steps

We are eager to meet with potential campus and external partners. We will work with your team to facilitate lively, two-way conversations that ensure we:

  • understand your needs and dreams,
  • share our scope of relevant services and skills,
  • collaborate on ideas with creativity and fun. and
  • bring learning in your field to digital life through engaging scenarios, instructional accuracy and the latest and best practices in game learning.

Next Steps

After an initial consultation with your project’s sponsor and key team members, we may follow-up with additional questions to clarify your vision.

Once we are satisfied that we understand your needs, we will develop a statement of work with timelines and fee estimates for each phase of the proposed project or services. We will meet with you to discuss and collaborate on a final statement of work.

From there, we will prioritize what to do and how we’ll work together to deliver your product on time and within budget, and to ensure your satisfaction and delight.


Send us your next Request for Proposal. Contact or send to Mike Beall. We will respond as soon as we can.