iCivics’s Do I Have a Right? is an immersive role-playing experience designed to help students deepen their understanding of constitutional law. During the game, students assume the role of a lawyer establishing their own legal firm and get an opportunity to apply legal principles to real-life situations. Players delve into the intricacies of constitutional amendments by handling various cases, hiring additional lawyers based on their specialties, determining which cases deserve representation, assigning clients to the best lawyers for their claims, recognizing complaints that do not involve constitutional rights, and expanding their practice. Along the way, students must determine which amendment relates to each scenario and determine which deserves representation. The more clients that are served, the faster the law firm grows. Players earn prestige points by skillfully advocating for clients and winning cases. These points can be used to purchase new lawyers, update office equipment, and make other improvements.
Do I Have a Right? offers a full edition that includes the Bill of Rights and the 13th, 14th, 15th, 19th, and 26th Amendments and an edition that just focuses on the Bill of Rights. This immersive experience can be played in English or Spanish and includes audio throughout. Additional accessibility features include the ability to enable or mute the English voiceover and sound effects. This game is available on a web browser or as an app from Google Play or the Apple Store, making it fully device agnostic! The site also offers an extension pack with activities, teacher resources, lesson plans, and follow-up PowerPoint presentations. Registration is not required to play, but a free registration will allow you to save progress, access all teacher materials, and assign the game (or any of the other immersive games available through iCivics) to your students.
Applying the Triple E Framework
The Triple E Framework, created by Dr. Liz Kolb, states that “effective technology integration begins with good instructional strategies and not fancy tools” (tripleeframework.com). Dr. Kolb wrote a book on the topic, Learning First, Technology Second (ISTE, 2017), that lays out the three main uses for technology in education: to Engage, Enhance, or Extend learning goals. We can use this framework to decipher why we use specific classroom tools. Here is a rubric based on the Triple E Framework you can use to evaluate whether Do I Have a Right? (or any other technology) is a good fit with your learning goals and whether you should use it in your lesson.
- Engage in learning goals: Do I Have a Right? engages students in active learning by immersing them in realistic legal scenarios, giving them the role of a lawyer, and encouraging them to explore constitutional rights and make informed decisions. Students are motivated to learn as they think critically and analyze complex real-life situations.
- Enhance learning goals: This immersive game offers students plenty of scaffolding as they navigate the experience. Pop-ups appear with helpful information, and the bottom of the screen includes links to learn more about vocabulary and the amendments. Do I Have a Right? also creates a path for students to demonstrate their learning in a way that would be impossible without technology. For example, students take on the persona of a lawyer defending the amendments and must make decisions quickly and accurately. Hands-on participation also allows students to deepen their understanding of civic concepts and legal principles.
- Extend learning goals: Dr. Kolb describes extended learning as an opportunity for students to learn, connect, and collaborate outside the regular school day and as a way to create a bridge between school learning and everyday life experiences. Do I Have a Right? can be completed as a remote/asynchronous learning activity. Teachers can assign the game and see progress and points earned in the teacher portal. This simulation extends the learning beyond the traditional classroom by allowing students to explore legal concepts and practice critical thinking in a simulated legal environment. Learning to think critically is a real-life skill that students will need daily throughout their futures. Having a solid familiarity with the amendments is also a real-life skill that will help Americans become aware of their rights in the future. This game allows students to explore the complexities of constitutional rights and the legal system, fostering a more comprehensive understanding of civic education and the Amendments.
The SAMR Model, by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, suggests that technology implementation has four levels. Therefore, we can use this model as a guideline to analyze how we use technology tools in the classroom. For example, you can use Do I Have a Right? with your students at the modification level.
- Modification: The level of modification allows us to make (or modify) an activity into something more integrated with technology, meaning there is significant task redesign. This simulation immerses students into the role of a lawyer, allows them to analyze complete legal cases and make informed (and quick) decisions, and provides immediate feedback on their actions. Students are not just sitting, reading, and answering questions; they use critical thinking and the scenarios provided to make quick decisions based on their knowledge of the amendments.
Take advantage of Part 2 of the Tech Tool of the Month: Do I Have a Right? where we’ll discuss using the tool and classroom ideas. In the meantime, let us know how you have used Do I Have a Right? in your education setting in the comment section below.