Whats New on Civics360?
Good evening, friends in civics! We have been spending this summer updating our Civics360 platform in a number of ways and wanted to take a few minutes and share that with you.
New Embed Platform: Schooltube
One thing you may notice is that is that all of the videos on Civics360 have been replaced with a new service: Schooltube. We found that Schooltube offers a great deal more flexibility in support, with adfree videos and full embed capabilities, and you should check it out. SchoolTube is available for use directly by all K12 schools and districts. You can check out Schooltube here.
One of the nice benefits of Schooltube is that the videos are automatically captioned. Captioning was a constant request and we are excited to finally be able to offer that (though because it is automatic, there are still some minor issues with it).
You can also visit our new Civics360 Schooltube Channels. We encourage you to check out Schooltube and our new channels, and we are excited about this new platform that improves Civics360!
New Topic Area: The High School US Government Classroom
This new topic area is aligned with the new Civic Literacy Assessment for high school and college. Like the ones for middle school civics, it contains videos and resources for the 4 main areas of the assessment (and for US government in general), as well as one module that provides an overview of US government and the Civic Literacy Assessment.
The activities provided are beyond what we see with most (though not all) Civics360 modules, with a focus on high school government learning. The resources are primarily ones referenced in our new teacher professional development course for this!
We encourage you to share it with your high school friends, or if you have kids heading to college!
Coming in Late August: New Supports and Resources for Some Modules
We have spent some time the past few months working on a grant with Orange County Public Schools, funded by the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation. As a part of this grant, teachers have developed new reading resources and activities for some modules (as you can see pictured above!). We are excited to be able to share these with you! The goal here is to provide supports through more leveled texts and engaging activities that helps all students grasp the content. We hope that you will find them useful. We are currently in the process of edits and revisions and expect to have them up in August.
These changes are in the works, mostly around registration. We are approaching beta testing with this, and is in response to requests we have gotten since launch.
1. NO MORE STUDENT NAMES AND EMAILS. Students will register with an autogenerated name and number (420,69, and 666 automatically blocked. ha), their own password, and, most significantly, a class code. YOUR class code. That is IT. We will collect no other info from students and there is no personal information at all we get from them. There is also a clear statement that they must have parent permission to register, provided to the teacher, if they are under 13 as we seek to comply with COPPA guidelines.
2. You will register and be given a class code and be able to have class rosters. You’ll need to be sure to have your kids tell you their log in names (you will hopefully be able to print out the class roster with a dedicated space to type or write it in), because we will not collect that information. You WILL be able to reset student passwords yourself! Once we launch a revised assessment platform, you will be able to track student grades on that as well. Mike is writing the code for that feature. Need to wait until we replace the quiz platform for it to work, though (that’s next after the new registration). This roster should autopopulate as students register using your classcode (so you’ll need to create your account first).
3. No more ‘I cant find my school’. We have uploaded the most recent database of Florida K-12 schools, but you will also have the option to ‘Create New School’ if you can’t find it, and be able to request it be added to the database for others. This allows folks in private, Catholic, and newer charters, as well as other states, to actually associate with a school.
4. Working to ensure that teachers have different access than students so that we can have answer keys actually on the site instead of needing to email me. Still working out the kinks on that.
5. Targeting single sign on as well, as we know that is a demand. We have sign on working with Google right now. This may take some extra time.
6. No more annoying security questions. If you forget your password, you should just be able to email me automatically for a reset.
These changes likely mean that you and your students will need to re-register on Civics360, and we apologize for that. We are planning a Beta test for sometime in the next two weeks, so unlikely to be ready for ‘opening day’ (much like this season’s Red Sox pitching staff. ugh) but I will keep you updated. Please note that all of this assumes no bugs or other issues we haven’t thought of.
We appreciate your patience and support and apologize it’s taken us so long for some of this, and these other improvements. But we are very excited by these changes and the new resources that are being added!
Questions? Comments? Shoot me an email!