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Interactive History Games: Timely and Topical for Remote Learning
Thursday, April 30, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT
Presented by Leah Potter, Instructional Designer, Electric Funstuff; and Kristina Kirtley, Senior Producer, Content and Youth Engagement, WNET New York Public Media
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As social studies teachers look for immediate solutions to engage students in remote learning, Mission US – an award-winning series of free, interactive, standards-aligned history games – delivers exciting learning opportunities. This edWebinar unpacks strategies for using interactive role-playing games during this time of remote learning and also discuss how games like Mission US (mission-us.org) can support English Language Learners and struggling readers. Viewers will learn how to integrate the games into assignments and use the program’s wealth of teaching resources, including document-based activities, writing prompts, and independent student research, to immerse students in the drama and decisions that shaped U.S. history. Presenters share examples of how to blend gameplay with extension activities to illustrate how teachers can immediately utilize the content with their students.
As a bonus, viewers will also get a preview of the new Mission US game, “Prisoner in My Homeland,” which focuses on the experience of a Japanese American teenage boy who must make difficult choices amid the chaos and terror of incarceration during WWII.
In this edWebinar, learn how Mission US can help students experience personal, memorable connections with complex historical content, and continue deepening their learning amid today’s challenging circumstances. This recorded edWebinar will be of interest to elementary through high school teachers, librarians, and instructional technology, curriculum, distance learning, school, and district leaders.
About the Presenters
Leah Potter is an instructional designer at Electric Funstuff, makers of Mission US––the critically acclaimed series of history learning games produced by WNET with over 3 million users. She collaborates on almost all aspects of game design, from research to story treatment to curriculum development, and is also Mission US’s lead writer. She also is an adjunct faculty member in New York University’s Public History & Archives program where she teaches courses on digital history. Leah recently co-founded Hats & Ladders, a social impact company that is innovating career readiness instruction with youth-centered, game-based learning. Leah holds a B.A. in U.S. history from the University of California-Berkeley and an M.A. in U.S. history from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Kristina Kirtley is Senior Producer in Kids’ Media and Education at WNET New York Public Media, New York’s flagship PBS station. She creates educational resources for PBS LearningMedia and manages outreach to support WNET productions like Mission US, American Masters, and Films BYkids. She also leads WNET’s Youth Collective, a youth media and engagement initiative that aims to amplify youth voice and provide a platform for young people to engage in the important work of building a more ethical world. Previously, Kristina worked for eight years as a project manager at International Cinema Education, an NGO at the United Nations that uses film to teach students about global issues and she also taught high school English for five years in the Bronx as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows Program. Kristina holds a B.A. in English from Stanford University and an M.A. in education from City College.
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