As Donald Trump was declared president elect early this morning, the website iCivics debuted a new edition of Executive Command, an animated educational game aimed at teaching kids all about the role of the president. The game has players take on the role and select an agenda for the country. They learn what it takes to accomplish their goals while facing the challenges and responsibilities that appear along the way.
“We don’t learn civics and how to be involved as a citizen, genetically. We have to learn it, every generation,” Justice Sandra Day O’Connor says in a video on the website. She founded iCivics, a nonprofit civics education group, in 2009, after having served 25 years on the Supreme Court as the first woman appointed to the highest court in the nation. “I wanted to teach young people in America how they can be part of the governmental structure, and help decide what problems to tackle and how to solve them.”
Executive Command is one of 20 iCivics games on topics, ranging from the Bill of Rights, Supreme Court, immigration and the White House. Players of Executive Command can sign or veto bills, increase taxes, delegate new laws, travel the world on diplomatic missions and protect the country as Commander in Chief.
The website offers teaching resources that are used by more than 70,000 educators nationwide. Millions of young people have played the games. Evidence shows that iCivics materials improve students’ civic knowledge, civic attitudes, and core literacy skills.
The mission, according to the website:
iCivics exists to engage students in meaningful civic learning. We provide civics teachers well-written, inventive, and free resources that enhance their practice and inspire their classrooms. Our mission is to ensure every student receives a high-quality civic education, and becomes engaged in — and beyond — the classroom. iCivics works because we make the subject come alive. Students have fun playing our games: they get to experience many civic roles, and are given the agency to address real-world issues. Teachers are fast adopting iCivics into their practice — and they tell us why. Our resources are reliable, and add value to their teaching…. iCivics is now the largest provider of civics curriculum in the nation. Most importantly, our resources are completely free. We want all students to receive good civic education, regardless of geography or income. We believe free and high-quality digital resources help equalize the educational playing field.
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