The Case for iCivics


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  • Looked around and didn’t like what she saw #PalinHistory
  • #1) systems-based thinking #2) identity, rules, goals #3) inspire inquiry. Civics is largely about process and motivation. It’s not about abstract facts and figures – devoid of applicability and action.Games engage students inside and outside the classroom 24/7. Students are already learning civic skills through games that are not really intent on teaching civics (World of Warcraft). Amada Lindhart. McArthur. Pew. Etc.
  • Justice O’Connor announced the launch of in May 2010 on Good Morning America. The website has all of the same resources as, but with more games for students and greater flexibility for teachers.
  • iCivics games have been played more than two million times by students from every state and the District of Columbia. The website receives 180,000 visits per month, and user traffic has climbed at an average rate of 72% per month since the iCivics website went live in May 2010. More than 6,000 educators and supporters have signed up for our email list and more than 20,000 people have registered for iCivics accounts. New account creation has grown by a monthly average of 95%.
  • We've begun releasing smaller games quickly, which provides for more cycles of experimentation.Share your victories!  
  • Maximum Standards aligned in all 50 states. Looking to align to Common Core Standards in Lit/History.
  • Civic education has to be 24/7 … if it’s not we’ve failed.Impact Projects hooray. Boys & Girls Club. Civics argumentation, content-based literacy (NextGen grant).
  • The Case for iCivics

    1. 1. The case for <br />Jeff Curley, Co-Founder & Deputy Director of iCivics<br />Dan Norton, Co-Founder & Creative Director of Filament Games<br />
    2. 2. iCivics Origin<br /><ul><li>Justice O’Connor “retired” in 2006
    3. 3. Found a basic lack of knowledge about how our government works
    4. 4. Students didn’t know how to engage in their communities and with government – responsibly</li></li></ul><li>Games & Civics<br /><ul><li>Games, like civics, are about navigating a system to get things done.
    5. 5. Games are goal-oriented, provide immediate feedback, and inspire inquiry.
    6. 6. Require little preparation from busy teachers.
    7. 7. Civics is largely about process and motivation. It’s not about abstract facts and figures – devoid of applicability and action.</li></li></ul><li>Filament Origin<br />
    8. 8. iCivics and Filament Partnership<br />iCivics connected with Filament Games through Jim Gee, and our organizations have grown together organically since early 2009.<br />
    9. 9.<br />In May 2010, we expanded the site to meet a growing demand from educators. <br />
    10. 10. Adoption Numbers<br /><ul><li>Since 2009, iCivics games have been played more than two million times by students in every state!
    11. 11. Traffic has climbed an average of 72% per month since launch.</li></ul>More than 25,000 students have registered accounts this year alone!<br />
    12. 12. Collaboration Lessons<br /><ul><li>Develop clear learning objectives - they keep designers out of the clouds and protect development from scope creep.</li></ul>Have a thorough (but flexible!) production plan. Build in plenty of playtesting and iteration!<br />Impact games should be designed in tandem with a distribution strategy. Know your audience(s) and how to reach them!<br />
    13. 13. Collaboration Lessons<br /><ul><li>Agile development increases the burden of communication, but minimizes surprises with a clear set of standards that control production and provide structure for feedback.
    14. 14. Time is more valuable than money.</li></ul>Filament advocates for design; iCivics advocates for content.<br />
    15. 15. Evolution<br />iCivics offers full units of curriculum centered around games. Now we’re expanding the site’s community features:<br /><ul><li>Avatars & achievements
    16. 16. Facebook integration
    17. 17. Expanded outreach through partnerships with Boys & Girls Clubs, Ashoka’s Youth Venture</li></li></ul><li>Impact Projects<br />Real-life, student-run service projects that address community issues.<br />Launched April 2011 thanks to support from the MacArthur Foundation.<br />Students have donated 51 million points. Average time on site has increased 30%. <br />
    18. 18. Questions<br />Jeff Curley<br />, (202) 729-8144<br />Dan Norton<br />, (608) 251-0477 <br />