Teacher Review For iCivics

The Life of a Bill. The Branches of Government & Turning an Idea into a Bill.

Esther M.
Grad Student
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My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 4
Pedagogy 4
Support 2
My Students Liked It No
My Students Learned No
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time More than 15 minutes
Great for Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Great with Advanced learners
How I Use It
This application reflects established learning strategies consistent with its description. That said, my review only considers educational technology integration strategies and principles because I have only used this program personally and have not used it in a classroom yet. Students seem to learn through a simulation using avatars from the three branches of government to learn about how the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branch interact when taking ideas, getting supporters, turning an idea into a bill and then law. The avatar and branch activity was engaging. The prompts for what to look out for and what could be expected, if a bill is not passed or goes to another branch, was helpful in direction. The actual movement from one branch to another or to go from town hall to deliberation was not inherently easy to figure out. It took some time to master.
My Take
Overall this was engaging and should require critical thinking on the part of the student. They will have to weigh issues from the constituents point of view as well as the representing legislator when pushing a bill through for vote. The simulation was fun, but the default screen does not show all the activity going on in this learning component, so moving around and finding things became cumbersome. Since a student would lose all the progress they had gained if they changed to a full screen mode mid game, a note to change to full screen before beginning the game would be helpful.