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PBS Frontline Digital Nation
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Dive headfirst into MISSION US  – a FREE online video game set in different eras in American history

THIRTEEN Outreach, New York PBS, will be in Arizona to conduct this special teacher workshop in a double session that takes participants through the first mission, "For Crown or Colony?" focuses on events leading to the American Revolution.

In the game as a player you take on the role of Nat Wheeler, a 14-year-old who leaves his family’s farm in 1770 to become an apprentice to a Boston printer, Benjamin Edes.

Mission US is reviewed in September 2010 issue of the Children's Technology Review and rated 4.8 stars out of 5 stars(making it the highest rated software in this issue of the newsletter).

Content includes reading primary historical documents, collecting period artifacts, and clicking on "Smartwords" (vocabulary) embedded in the dialog.  Designed for use at home or in school, the game is divided into five parts, 15-20 minutes each, and may be played individually or collaboratively. In addition to the game, teachers can download support materials and vocabulary activities.

 

Research Highlights include:

  • 89% said that students were more intellectually and emotionally engaged during the Mission US unit than in the typical unit they teach.
     
  • 72% said that students who struggle academically, e.g., with reading or attention, performed better in the Mission US unit compared to most units. Teachers credited the game’s strong storyline and characters, as well as audio supports for reading, with helping struggling students succeed.
     
  • 94% said that Mission US helped their students see the events leading to the American Revolution "in more human, everyday terms that they could understand."
     
  • 83% said that as teachers, they reached a greater variety of learning objectives with the Mission US unit than they do in the typical US history unit they teach.

The statistics are nice.  But the best evidence of success? One classroom of students asked the team conducting the research for their autographs!

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Teacher Setup Student Setup

Mission US Game Promo


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