GoCivics Mobile Congress makes simulations fun and accessible

January 24, 2013

Role play games -- such as mock trials, debates, and model legislatures -- are well-established ways to introduce students to important civic processes, to encourage critical thinking, and to target Common Core speaking and listening standards. They are specifically identified as a best practice in civic education by the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools. The problem is that they are difficult for teachers to prepare, administer, and grade.  As such, many teachers forego using these powerful learning tools.

In response, iCivics is teaming with Filament Games to develop GoCivics, a set of first-of-a-kind tablet-enhanced role play games. These games leverage the power of tablets to reduce the administrative burdens, classroom management challenges, and assessment limitations of traditional, paper-and-pencil methods while maintaining the core interactive, face-to-face experience for students. The games will be usable "out of the box," and will require minimal training and administration -- a crucial feature where time and money are scarce.

Check out this video of our pilot test:  

This pilot was made possible through funding by U.S. Department of Education’s Small Business Innovation Research program to Filament Games. Filament is approaching the Department for additional funds to complete the R&D of the basic software and of a few core modules for GoCivics, including Mobile Congress.

Paradoxically, tablets might be the best way to get kids to stop staring at screens and interacting with each other!