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Three Months In: How and Where is KidCitizen being Used?

  • By Bert Snow
  • March 12, 2018

We launched KidCitizen in November, at the NCSS convention in San Francisco, and were very encouraged by the response it received in the presentations, posters, workshop, and demo sessions we conducted.

KidCitizen Primer: KidCitizen provides a set of interactive digital “episodes” where children explore civic engagement and Congress through historical primary sources from the Library of Congress, and connect what they find with their daily lives. KidCitizen also includes the cloud-based KidCitizen Editor that gives teachers the power to create their own episodes and easily share them with students. Access to the KidCitizen Episodes and Editor is free to teachers. KidCitizen is part of the the Civics and Primary Sources Project, and is supported by a grant from the Library of Congress.

It’s now been more than three months since the launch, and lots has happened, so we thought it would be interesting to give an update on how (and where!) KidCitizen episodes are being used by teachers and students. We’ll explore that in a series of blog posts. In this first one, we’ll look at our site visitors, and how the KidCitizen Episodes are being used.

KidCitizen website visitors:

In mid February, we crossed the threshold of 4,000 unique visitors to the the kidcitizen.net website. One interesting stat is that 46% of our visitors are coming direct (not through search, social media or referrals). That means these visitors know and remember our name, and type “kidcitizen” into browsers. So our name recognition is strong!

35% of visitors have come through referring pages, with the most coming from the press announcements of the launch, the loc.gov blogs on the launch, and (this is interesting) classroom.google.com. This indicates that there is a substantial group of teachers using the KidCitizen Episodes as part of assignments they are setting up in google classroom.

How are the KidCitizen Episodes being played?

As of February 13, the six initial KidCitizen episodes have been played a total of 3,309 times.

Not surprisingly, the introductory episode “What are Primary Sources” has the most plays, with about 1,000, but just edges out “Community Helpers” with 950.   That’s an interesting contrast there, as “What are Primary Sources” is the simplest (and briefest) episode, while “Community Helpers” is perhaps the richest and most complex. (there’s some competition there).

In January and February, the episode “Welcome to Congress” saw a big jump in plays – so we suspect that a few teachers are putting that to use with a number of students.  Over the next months, we’ll publish some posts diving deeper into the different episodes, and how you can use them.

If you are interested in seeing a KidCitizen episode, you can play them in your browser from Kidcitizen.net.  And they are free.  

About our data: Because KidCitizen is supported by the Library of Congress with an important goal of making its resources easily and freely available, we do not require users to give us information to access the Episodes. We do include a voluntary ask for zip code for teachers that download teachers guides. So we’ll report on what we do know, and make some surmises from that.

In our next post, we’ll look at where KidCitizen is being used thus far. (Spoiler alert: all 50 states!)

KidCitizen is part of the Congress, Civic Participation, and Primary Sources Project, supported by a grant from the Library of Congress.