Why Emerging Citizens?
Paul Mihailidis, Associate Professor, and Co-Director of the Engagement Lab @ Emerson College, conducted a multi-year research project exploring how youth use social media to engage in civic life.
One of the key findings published in his book Media Literacy and the Emerging Citizen: Youth, Engagement and Participation in Digital Culture, is that youth engage in social networking and cultural sharing in dynamic ways, but have trouble recognizing how their digital applications provide productive connectivity, vibrant communication, and diverse information consumption in daily life.
Therefore, if students are not able to understand how social and mobile technologies enhance learning experiences, it will be hard for them to see the value that comes from informal or alternative learning pathways. That’s why we created a platform that combines digital literacy learning, user generated content, and game-based structures that’s easy to set-up, fun to play, and educationally powerful.
We created Emerging Citizens in order to understand how game based playful experiences can fill this gap.
What is Emerging Citizens?
Emerging Citizens is a suite of digital multiplayer party games that teach students how to critique and create civic media. Paul Mihailidis, Associate Professor, and Co-Director of the Engagement Lab @ Emerson College, conducted a multi-year research project exploring how youth use social media to engage in civic life. He found that youth engage in social networking and cultural sharing in dynamic ways, but have trouble recognizing how their digital applications provide productive connectivity, vibrant communication, and diverse information consumption in daily life. Therefore, we created a platform that combines digital literacy learning and user-generated content with game-based structures that are easy to set up, fun to play, and educationally powerful.You can read more about Emerging Citizens here.
What is Wikigeeks?
WikiGeeks is a real-time race played within Wikipedia.org that gives players a topic, asks them to choose a starting page, and then race to be the first player to reach a revealed Wikipedia page using only hyperlinks. Learn more about Wikigeeks here.
What is Hashtag You’re It?
Hashtag You’re It is a Twitter-based bluffing game where players read real tweets with hidden hashtags, submit their own hashtag to fool other players, and then attempt to guess the real hashtag themselves without getting tricked. Learn more about Hashtag You’re It here.
What is Wait Wait Don’t Meme Me?
Wait Wait Don’t Meme Me! is a meme-creation voting game that gives players a topic, asks them to make a meme about that topic, and then vote on which player’s meme best matches a revealed description. Learn more about Wait Wait Don’t Meme Me here.
What is a “content category”?
Within Emerging Citizens, there are different content categories. For example, some content categories are: US Politics, Migration and Science & Technology. Each category is tied to one or more lesson plans that are specific to a certain game in the Emerging Citizens Suite.
What is the difference between our learning guide and a lesson plan?
A learning guide is a document that educators can use to familiarize themselves with one of the games included in the Emerging Citizens suite. There are three learning guides total, with one for each game.
Lesson plans are tied to content categories. For example, there is one lesson plan for US Politics for Hashtag you’re it, another lesson plan for Wikigeeks, and another lesson plan for US Politics for Wait, Wait Don’t Meme Me! They all have related content, but different lesson plans. There also may be more than one lesson plan per game for the same category.
When will lesson plans be available?
Hang tight! Our learning plans will be available January 2017.
What is a lesson plan?
A lesson plan is a document that uses one specific content category for learning material, but can be applied to one or more games within the Emerging Citizens suite. Educators can reference lesson plans to help guide classroom activities and discussions.
How do I use a lesson plan?
Each lesson plan has a specified topic and game that complements the content of the lesson. After picking a lesson plan, choose the game included in the lesson and select the appropriate topic(s) before you launch the game.
Is there a way to use my own lesson plans?
If you are interested in using your own lesson plans with Emerging Citizens, please submit your ideas in this typeform. We think it’s very important for teachers to share their ideas with other educators, so we are working to create a library of user-created lessons.
What devices are supported?
As a web-based game, Emerging Citizens has been developed to play on a range of mobile devices and desktop computers.
iOS: iOS7+ (iPhone 4/iPad 2 or later)
Android: Ice Cream Sandwich+ (Generally devices made in 2011 or later)
Windows/Mac (Browser): Internet Explorer 10+/Safari 5.1+/Chrome
We recommend playing Emerging Citizens with the most up-to-date version of IE/Safari/Chrome for the best experience.
What happens if a player gets disconnected?
- If a player becomes disconnected from a game before it starts, they must join the lobby again.
- If a player becomes disconnected from a game after it starts, they may refresh the page on their device to reconnect. They might need to wait for the next round before being able to participate again.
- If a player closes the game page on their device, they are permanently disconnected from the session.
- If enough players disconnect that only one remains in the session, the session will end automatically after 15 seconds.
Why is my device not connecting?
- Can your device connect to the internet/other sites? An active internet connection is required to play Emerging Citizens.
- Is your internet connection particularly slow? Emerging Citizens requires real-time communication between multiple devices in order to play.
- Are you behind a firewall, network filter, or using anti-virus software that blocks the use of web sockets? Emerging Citizens uses sockets to function, so ensure that they are open on your network or check with your IT administrator.
- Is your device/operating system/browser supported? Check the list above to make sure you’re playing on a supported platform and that your software is up-to-date.
- Are you playing in “Incognito” or other private-browsing modes? These browser modes can interfere with the connection between a device and the game.
What happens if I close out the window with the main screen?
If the main screen is refreshed or closed, all players will be disconnected from the session and the game will end.
I accidently closed my player screen browser window. Can I rejoin?
Unfortunately, if the browser window is closed, the device becomes permanently disconnected from the session.
I put my phone to sleep. Can I rejoin?
Try refreshing your browser window. You should see a message that says “resuming your session.” You might need to wait until the end of the current round before you rejoin the game.
Can I play using low-power mode?
If your phone is in low power mode, we cannot keep your device awake during the game. We encourage you to remind players to disable low power mode in their devices’ settings or plug in their devices before the game begins.
Why is my device telling me that the emerging citizens site, and other associated sites are unsafe?
This is just a security certificate problem. You can progress to the website by selecting Advanced options and clicking the link to proceed to the website. Please know that we value your privacy and we will at no time be saving your data or asking for your data.
How do players win?
Each of Emerging Citizens’ games are point-based. The player with the most points wins!
In Wikigeeks, players win points based on how quickly they can navigate to the target article, and how many clicks it takes them to reach there. Read the full instructions here.
In Hashtag You’re It, points are acquired through tricking players into choosing their hashtag as well as guessing the correct hashtag for the tweet portrayed on the screen. Read the full instructions here.
In Wait Wait Don’t Meme Me, players win points by having their memes voted for by other players. Read the full instructions here.
What is a room code? Where do I find the room code?
A room code is a unique string of letters that allows users to connect to a specific game with one another. The game code can be found in two places. First, the game code can be found on the educator’s main screen (game lobby) before gameplay begins. You can also look at the URL of the game lobby. The last four capitalized letters in the URL is the room code.
Can I play this with players in different classrooms or classroom versus classroom?
Yes, By using streaming services like Twitch or screen sharing services like google hangout, you can play with people from all over the world as long as they have an internet connection.
Can I play with more than eight players?
No, but see the question below for ways to incorporate more players into the experience.
How can I play this in the classroom if only eight students can play?
We are working on additional features that will allow more students to participate in an active way. But even with only eight active players, there are many ways to incorporate entire classrooms into the experience in many different ways. Emerging Citizens at its core is an attempt to bridge the gap between “traditional” learning and new modes of interaction, and so finding ways to combine these two approaches is at the heart of the experience! Here are some suggestions we have. If you have your own way of using Emerging Citizens, please let us know!
Here are some suggestions on how to engage larger groups of students.
- Have your students team up in pairs.
- Alternately, have one student make the meme or hashtag and have the other student vote.
- Form groups and for each round, have one student act as the “leader.”
- Or, form groups and have one student make the meme or hashtag and have the group vote together.
- Educators can also create an analog point bonus question system. Add opportunities for additional bonus points by asking questions in-between rounds to the students who are not playing. They then can award those earned points to their “champion” (who is an active player).
Can I create my own content to use in the game?
Though we will be supporting this feature in the future, we currently don’t have the ability for a facilitator to create their own content. That said, we are looking for anyone who is interested in our platform and would like to partner with us to create your own category! If interested, Email Becky@elab.emerson.edu and we can get that ball rolling!
Can I censor or filter content that players make from appearing on the main screen?
No. We believe in open classroom discussion, which may be inspired by particular submissions for the various games within Emerging Citizens. Likewise, We advocate for players to use their real names so they can remain accountable. Educators may even choose to make this a requirement.
Is there a way for me to save any content made in the game?
Unfortunately, this feature is unavailable at this time, but we will look into implementing it in the future!
How do I play a game with specific content?
When you select a game to play, you will be given the option to select one or more content catagories for that particular game session.
How do I start a game?
- The main screen is the game screen that can be seen by all players. This can be a TV, projector, large computer monitor, or any other device as long as all players can see it!
- Select a game on your main screen via emergingcitizens.org to create a game lobby and room code.
- Once all your players have joined the game, select the “Launch Game” or “Start Game” option on the main screen.
How do players join a game?
- The player screen is private and each player has their own. Players can use any internet connected device such as a laptop, phone or tablet, as their player screen!
- Players join a game on their device via ecplay.org by entering their name and room code