JUNE 28, 2012
Filament Games Wins Competitive Department of Education SBIR Grants
Partnership with iCivics Will Develop Innovative Civic Learning Tools
MADISON, WI and WASHINGTON D.C.-- Filament Games and iCivics announced today that the Department of Education has awarded Filament Games two highly-competitive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants. The organizations will be working in conjunction to develop two exciting innovations for online civics learning.
“These grants will be critical to Filament’s ability to advance its mission of improving education through the power of play as they will help us build commercially viable products that, in turn, help give rise to a sustainable market for learning games,” noted CEO of Filament Games, Dan White.
“Granting not one but two SBIR awards is not only a vote of confidence in Filament and iCivics’ combined expertise in game-based and blended learning, but also further evidence of the Department of Education’s commitment to civics learning as a 21st century skill,” said Gene Koo, Executive Director of iCivics.
The two grants support major innovations in online civic learning. The first project, GoCivics, will use mobile devices to create immersive classroom simulations. GoCivics will help teachers put on mock trials, model Congress, and other role-based simulations that educators widely agree help young people practice the core skills of democratic self-rule. Each student will receive an iPad that helps them assume their roles and make smart choices; teachers will use a separate view to keep the entire simulation running smoothly.
The second project, iCivics+, will develop the first standards- and game-based assessment platform. The platform will allow teachers to measure and interpret students’ in-game performance and recommend specific interventions tailored to that performance. iCivics+ will turn the already popular and effective educational games developed by Filament and iCivics into powerful tools for formative and interim assessment.
Over the next six months, Filament Games and iCivics will work together to develop and test prototypes of both GoCivics and iCivics+.
“These tools will help tens of thousands of teachers currently using iCivics to become even more effective in achieving their civic and social studies curriculum goals,” noted Koo.
“Filament and iCivics have established a reputation for developing next generation classroom technologies that are both engaging and effective. We look forward to building on that reputation when we deploy these new products into schools across the country,” White concluded.