iCivics Executive Director to Present at SXSW Panel “Democracy Games: Civics for the Digital Age?”
iCivics will also launch its 18th game—a collaboration with Twin Cities Public Television and PBS to coincide with Constitution USA—about the balance of power between the federal and state governments.
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iCivics Executive Director to Present at SXSW Panel
“Democracy Games: Civics for the Digital Age?”
Austin, Texas—March 8, 2013— iCivics Executive Director, Gene Koo, will participate in a panel discussion about reinvigorating civic learning through gaming called “Democracy Games: Civics for the Digital Age.” The event on Saturday, March 9, is part of SXSW 2013, the annual music, film, and interactive festival in Austin.
Moderated by Peter Sagal of NPR’s “Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me!” and host of the new PBS series, Constitution USA, and also featuring game developer Dan Norton of Filament Productions, the conversation will tackle gaming as an answer to the growing gap in civics awareness. Video games can provide real-life simulations of democratic processes including how the judicial system operates, the importance of jury duty, the rule of law, and more.
“Games are the perfect medium for teaching civics,” said Koo. “Video games enable students to take on new roles, like being President or a Supreme Court Justice, as well as to experience dynamic systems that aren’t well-represented in books or film – like how a bill really becomes a law. Plus, they’re engaging and fun.”
During Saturday’s panel, Koo will reveal the launch of iCivics’ 18th game—a collaboration with Twin Cities Public Television and PBS to coincide with Constitution USA—about the balance of power between the federal and state governments.
Ahead of SXSW, iCivics founder Justice Sandra Day O’Connor this week promoted civics education on Morning Joe and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
iCivics prepares young Americans to become knowledgeable, engaged 21st century citizens by creating innovative educational materials. iCivics makes civic education relevant to a new generation of Americans through video games, classroom materials, and other innovative teaching techniques. Our materials are fun for students and practical for teachers in classrooms of all types. Most of all, they are free – a critical feature in an era when budget cuts are threatening innovation and quality in schools.
In 2009, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor founded iCivics to reverse Americans’ declining civic knowledge and participation. Securing our democracy, she realized, requires teaching the next generation to understand and respect our system of governance. Today, iCivics comprises not just our board and staff, but also a national leadership team of state supreme court justices, secretaries of state, and educational leaders. Together, we are committed to passing along our legacy of democracy to the next generation.
In just three years, iCivics has published 18 educational video games and 92 lesson plans that have been used by more than 30,000 teachers in all 50 states. Today we offer the nation’s most comprehensive, standards-aligned civics curriculum that is available freely on the Web.
For more information, visit www.icivics.org/.
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