Digital Approaches to Teaching Civics

| By Yonah Kirschner, Program Manager, DigitalJLearning Network

 

Voting - it’s the classic example of civic duty and privilege. In honor of this year’s Election Day on November 3rd, we’ve gathered up online resources for you to use for teaching civics and government. For help in integrating these resources into your classroom, check out our new on-demand blended learning support site, Ask DJLN.

 

 

 

 

iCivics
This awesome website has a bunch of educational games for teaching civics, including the Win the White House election simulation from Filament Games, which has levels for different ages with appropriate debate topics. Other games teach how to win an argument, the branches of power, the Bill of Rights, and more.

 

60-Second Civics
This daily podcast from the Center for Civic Education will help high school students explore themes related to civics, government, the constitution, and US history.

 

Khan Academy American Civics
Many teachers are familiar with Khan Academy’s popular math tutorials, but the site has a lot more to offer! These online units include videos on election topics, such as the electoral college, as well as other topics related to how government works in the United States.

 

E-Congress
Powered by the University of Virginia, this website will actually allow your students to simulate what it would be like to be in Congress. They take on the role of a Member of the House of Representatives, learn about Congress and lawmaking, and then conduct research on an issue of interest and submit the bill to E-Congress.

 

Ben’s Guide to the US Government
This colorful website teaches students about the US government. After selecting the level for their age, students can then navigate through information about the branches of government, how laws are made, the election process, as well as symbols and significant historical documents.

 

National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution
On this site, students will be able to explore the various sections of the Constitution and all the Amendments. For the first 15 Amendments, scholars of different perspectives present opinions and discuss what the Constitution means for us today based on their interpretations. The advanced level of the content here makes this site most appropriate for high school students.

 

OurDocuments.gov
Here students can explore important historical primary documents, including a special list of 100 Milestone Documents. There are images of each original document as well as a clear transcript of each document’s text.

 

C-SPAN Classroom Campaign 2016
Here you’ll find tons of videos and resources related to the 2016 Presidential Election. Emphasis is placed on student analysis of how candidates are portrayed in the media. The sheer quantity of resources here could make this the foundation for a year-long unit on the election.

 

What So Proudly We Hail
Created by teachers, this literary-based e-curriculum can be used to teach students about American history and civics through a collection of classic American stories, speeches, and songs.

 

Constitution App
This iOS app lets students explore the Constitution and the history surrounding its ratification. The app features hi-res photographs, video and audio, as well as quizzes and puzzles. The developer’s website also features potential curricular activities to go along with app.