Farewell to Flash, Hello to More!
December 04, 2020
You may know that Adobe Flash will no longer be active at the end of this year. What does that mean for you? It means that internet resources built using the Flash platform will no longer be available. This affects just a few iCivics games, but the good news is that we’ve been preparing for the sunset of Flash since we heard it was coming. With the help of generous funding, we upgraded the majority of our game library, and we were able to make a deeper commitment to our founding mission—ensuring all students receive a high-quality civic education. Our Flash-based games were good, but Adobe’s decline has afforded us the opportunity to make them more equitable and inclusive of a broader diversity of learners. Here are just some of the changes you’ll find in our newly upgraded games!
- ELL: iCivics now has nine games that are accessible—and engaging—for students who qualify for English-language services. Each game offers English-language voiceover; an interactive glossary; intentional visuals, gameplay scaffolds, embedded & printable content guides; and an accompanying Extension Pack with game-specific expansion activities and tips for ELLs (English language learners).
- Translation: We also offer those games in Spanish. According to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Spanish was identified as the home language for 74.8% of all EL students in the United States in 2017. For many of our most popular games, students can choose to jugar in español (play in Spanish) or English.
- Voice-Over: In addition to serving as a scaffold for students whose first language is not English, the addition of English voice-over (and our embedded glossary) also serves as a scaffold for students struggling with reading, allowing them to work independently and at grade level as they focus on comprehension of important civic knowledge and skills.
- Representation: Our upgraded games gave us the chance to incorporate new art, including a much more diverse and representative set of game characters through which students see themselves. Including more racial and ethnic representation, our newest bobbles also have large and small body types, a variety of hair textures and styles, characters wearing hijabs and who use wheelchairs, and gender-neutral characters.
- Apps: Each of our Unity-based games are available for free as apps from the Google Play and Apple App stores. There are 12 in total! Adding to making our games accessible on tablets and iPads, once downloaded, students can play iCivics games without the need for continual Internet access if needed.
- Extension Packs: Our newly upgraded games are expanded with a game Extension Pack for sandwiched learning and assessment. With pre- and post-game activities and ready-made slides for a mini-lesson, they offer students a fuller learning experience. Extension Packs include step-by-step instructions for teachers as well as tips for differentiating the game for your students including those who qualify for English language services. Game materials are available for registered teachers and can be found using the “Download Resources” button below the game.
- Free: As always, our resources remain free. We believe that civic knowledge is a prerequisite for civic participation, and cost should never be a barrier. While we weren’t able to upgrade every game before Flash makes its exit this year, we’re proud to continue offering teachers and students the high-quality, nonpartisan learning resources they’ve come to know and love.
For more information about how iCivics has prepared for the end of Adobe Flash, click here.