Friday, October 12, 2018

Website lets students try their hand at running a rural county government, discern real news from fake on social media

A graphic from the Counties that Work game
Running a rural county government is hard. Don't believe it? Test your mettle at iCivics, a website meant to increase civic participation and help students understand how government works. Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor founded it in 2009, partnering with developers to create 19 games that let players do everything from argue a Supreme Court case to helping an immigrant become a citizen. The site has lessons plans for teachers.

"For people with an interest in small towns and rural areas, the obvious first stop is the game Counties that Work, created with support from the National Association of Counties. In this game, players take on the role of a county elected official, responding to a range of constituent requests and community needs. There are decisions large and small to make, constituents to please, and the everyday business of keeping a county government humming and in the black," Bryce Oates writes for The Daily Yonder.

Journalists may note with interest the site's newest game, Newsfeed Defenders, which launched Oct. 3. It helps students tell the difference between reliable and unreliable news items on social media. It was developed in partnership with the Annenberg Public Policy Center, which runs

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