JULY 07, 2017
I feel fortunate to have been selected to be the Baylor University Fellow this year, and to have worked at iCivics on so many great projects. Over the course of my time in Boston, I have written about social studies education, helped develop and write curriculum, and worked to create more SLL (second language learner) access to the iCivics suite of games. I cannot think of a better experience to fully utilize my masters degree - this fellowship hit all aspects of what I hope to continue to do after I graduate.
Getting the opportunity to write on the iCivics blog was excellent. Bridging the gap between research and practice is a major struggle in most areas of education. By writing for iCivics, educators have the opportunity to take the research-based practices they implement in their classes and share it with other educators. It is tough to break the routine of the day-to-day, and I am hopeful that posts like the ones found on the iCivics blog help educators provide meaningful and effective education for their students.
As a part of my fellowship, I was also able to help develop curriculum for the iCivics website. While iCivics’ engaging gaming suite provides immense opportunities for students to see civics in action, the lessons and units available on the iCivics website are indispensable tools in the implementation of iCivics in the classroom. While this may be common knowledge for readers of this blog, it is a key piece to educators unfamiliar with iCivics incorporating the website as a part of their curriculum. Being able to help develop a plan in addressing new teachers accessing the site was a challenging but rewarding assignment.
Being a part of the team that helped make Do I Have a Right? accessible to SLLs was certainly my favorite task while working with iCivics. While I know the process is just getting started and many hands will be involved in making this project a success, I felt an immense sense of pride being a part of the team brainstorming and developing structures to help students access Do I Have a Right?, as well as other games in the iCivics suite. The engaging opportunities provided through iCivics are beneficial to any student, and helping those working on their English proficiency plug into the games and lessons was an opportunity I sincerely enjoyed.
I believe the experience I have had in Boston has been uniquely beneficial, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity.
Cameron is a secondary social studies educator from California. He is currently pursuing his MA in Curriculum & Instruction from Baylor University. He spends much of his free time exploring with his wife, always searching for the best breakfast burritos wherever they go.