Education news items

Introducing our new site

NOVEMBER 19, 2013

When we launched iCivics.org in May 2010, no one imagined that three years later we would be serving 40,000 teachers and six million students. But here we are, and thanks to you, iCivics is now the most widely adopted civics curriculum in the country! 

Civic Literacy and Changing the Meaning of Pi

AUGUST 26, 2013

Civic Literacy and Changing the Meaning of Pi

In late 19th century Indiana, the legislature tried to pass a bill that would change the meaning of Pi to 3.2.

For the sake of our social science audience I won’t get into the math, but basically, a gentleman who “proved” the theory, and copyrighted it, generously offered to allow Indiana to use his method for free if they adopted his mathematical gift as law.

Justice O’Connor Video Thanks Teachers

MAY 22, 2013

iCivics Teachers,

Back in December, we asked you for feedback and comments on your iCivics experience to share with Justice O'Connor. 

Justice O'Connor was overwhelmed by your response! We received incredibly helpful insights into how we can improve the lesson plans, what you like (and don't like) about the games, and directions you might like to see iCivics explore. 

Sandra Day O’Connor: First Woman to be nominated to the Supreme Court

Justice O'Connor discusses civic education on 'Morning Joe'

MARCH 05, 2013

While discussing her new book, Out of Order, Justice O'Connor also spread the word about iCivics with help from the Morning Joe crew:

iCivics celebrates President’s Day

FEBRUARY 15, 2013

Ah President’s day. According to the federal government the holiday is meant to commemorate George Washington’s birthday. Yet the day has come to honor the office of the presidency, not just our first president. No surprise here, but we’re all about using digital resources to teach and get your students excited about civic knowledge. So we’ve picked out our favorites to help you celebrate our nation’s leaders in your classroom.

Video

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.

Drafting Board boosts students' writing skill, independent researchers find

DECEMBER 19, 2012

The team here at iCivics is ecstatic to learn that our most ambitious project to date, Drafting Board, is more effective at teaching argumentative (persuasive) writing than traditional teaching approaches. According to CIRCLE, the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement at Tufts University, Drafting Board had a "significant and positive effect on essay scores" for  students whose classes were randomly assigned to the tool compared with those who learned using existing methods.

iCivics Makes Jury Duty Fun With Launch of We the Jury Game

DECEMBER 11, 2012

With the launch of its 17th online game, We The Jury, iCivics is bringing fun to jury duty.

Serving on a jury is one of the fundamental duties of American citizenship. Yet when most Americans see that summons come in the mail, their first thought is “How can I get out of jury duty?” It’s a staple of sitcoms and comedy routines. When Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer appeared to serve jury duty, national newspapers treated performing this basic duty of citizenship as something remarkable.

iCivics Launches Drafting Board, Innovative Common Core-Aligned Writing Tool

NOVEMBER 29, 2012

iCivics.org, the nation’s leading provider of high-quality and cost-free civic education materials, is revolutionizing both civic learning and the teaching of writing skills with the launch of its new tool, Drafting Board.