What's the Price?
CM Country Accounts
Because the Civic Mirror offers a class of students (and their teachers) the opportunity to become citizens living in a shared country, the cost is per class, where one license creates one CM Country Account. Because CM events require participants to meet face-to-face to run all of the simulated events, it must be this way. So if you hope to run Civic Mirror with 2 classes of students, you need 2 licences.
We offer 6 Week Free Trials for schools that haven't used the program before, and pilot pricing options for for districts wanting to ease into a full-scale site license.
CM Pricing Structure
Basically it is $300 for the first class, the second class is free, and then $150 for additional classes in a given school year. The initial license charge of $300 (for the first license in a school year) is for a variety of reasons. Long/short: this minimum fee ensures we can cover our costs of:
- Supporting teachers and districts by answering questions, undoing user mistakes (for free), troubleshooting problems, helping secure funding, free webinars, etc.,
- Supporting the costs with bandwidth, server load, web-tech, etc., and
- Continuing to offer EVERYTHING with the price of a license that allows Civic Mirror to be used a primary resource (think textbook, but so much more). This includes PDF and digital versions of the manuals, 10 learning modules that utilize CM and Understanding-By-Design pedagogy to cover entire units of study, the online user community for both students and educators, and so much more.
We offer the second license in a school year for FREE because we are able to at that price point. This second does NOT carry over into the next school year because of the reasons mentioned above. If teachers plan on running CM with only one class, we encourage them to share the free second license with a colleague at their school in that school year.
Educational ROI (Return on Investment)
Assuming a school runs 2 or more classes, and assuming a class size of roughly around 20-30, that works out to $5-8/per student when purchasing 2 or more licenses. This is well below what our market research indicates it should be priced at, especially considering the full-package offering, which can effectively replace the need for a textbook for certain courses. We also guarantee that this program will create a level of engagement in your class unlike any other resource on the market.
"You get a whole, student-driven, game-based, experiential education program, and massive amounts of curricular content, for $5-7 a student ... Roughly the price of a really inexpensive field trip, or a visit to a coffee shop (LOL)."
- Sara Shacket, Lakewood, CO: Recipient of the National Council of the Social Studies Teacher of the Year Award.
- Jamie Samione, Edmonds, WA: Recipient of Citizenship Education Award
- Arbour Lake School Educators, AB: Classroom visitation by Governor General of Canada
Civic Mirror Manuals
The Civic Mirror Manuals are essential for success with the program. To help first-time teachers and schools on budgets, we offer the PDF versions AND mobile-friendly digital versions of the Student and Instructor's Manual for free. For those interested in a physical class set of manuals, know that the published manuals are incredibly nice, re-issuable, fully synchronized with one another, and much cheaper over the long run than continually printing and copying the PDF ones.
Is Civic Mirror Available in Spanish or French?
U.S. CM in Spanish
At this time the U.S. version of Civic Mirror is not available in Spanish. If you are a Spanish-language teacher and interested in working with us to translate the U.S. Module, please contact us about the opportunity.
Canadian CM in French
Does Every Student Need a Manual? Teachers?
Yes, They Are Essential! Each student will definitely need a student manual. The Student Manuals contain all the game rules, procedures, and strategy tips that will help them learn and succeed. They also contain all the activity overviews and event scripts that the students need in order to participate in all the simulated events and run their country. In order to experience success with Civic Mirror, you MUST encourage your students to follow along with the Student Manual.
It is also essential that educators have the CM Instructor's Manual, as it contains everything they need to prepare for and facilitate the Civic Mirror experience. Note that the entire Student Manual is within the Instructors Manual, which means educators only need a copy of the Instructor's Manual.
To make this easy and affordable, there are 3 CM Manual options:
1. Published Versions: These are simply the best option for in-class use. The published manuals are professionally designed, the page numbers (between the IM and SM) are fully synchronized, and the soft cover-binding makes them re-issuable for years. Many teachers order one class set and keep them in class. To place your order, please use the order form.
2. Online, Mobile-Friendly Versions: Included with your Civic Mirror subscription is free access to online versions of the manuals. These were developed to be mobile-friendly such that users can easily view the content from computers, tablets, or phones.
3. PDF Draft Manuals: For teachers/schools tight on cash or with limited technology, we offer the draft versions of the CM Manuals for FREE in PDF format. You can access these manuals from the "Getting Started" page within civicmirror.com Educators have our permission to make as many copies of these documents as you and the students need, under the condition that YOU WILL NOT upload these manuals to public online spaces that are not password protected.
How often do students need to use computers for the Civic Mirror to run properly?
Most of the Civic Mirror Events are held in the classroom and do not require a computer lab. Specifically, there are only two events that require each student has computer/tablet access:
- The CM Practice Run: this event occurs only once and it is the second pre-game event. Basically it's a practice version of the "Open Market" event.
- The Open Market: this is the second event (of four) in every simulated year, and how often it occurs depends on how many simulated years the instructor chooses run.
That said, the online program is constantly being used by students outside of class time. Your students will be able to access the program to debate, discuss, and trade outside of class as much as they/you like. This serves the purpose of driving up excitement and anticipation for the next classroom event.
Note that it is helpful to have a computer projector for the in-class events so students can pull up the website to access items and information (e.g. legislation, economic info, a response to a discussion forum, etc.). For more information about the Civic Mirror Events, check that page in the "Learn More" section of this website.
Does Civic Mirror work on iPads and tablets?
Absolutely! We continually conduct browser and device tests to improve the experience for our customers using these devices.
How Has Civic Mirror Been Used in Courses With Standardized Exams?
With Much Success!
The Civic Mirror has been used in courses with high-stakes standardized exams with lots of success. Before we outline how teachers in courses like these should use the program, view the following two videos for basic context:
* How Does the Civic Mirror Fit Into Classrooms?
* Teaching and Learning with the Civic Mirror
A few key points from the videos:
Planning and Integration
* The Civic Mirror does not replace traditional teaching and learning; it enhances it by providing students with an experience that helps them "get" what they're studying
* The Civic Mirror Events can be spread throughout a calendar to (1) coincide with relevant course readings, and (2) provide time for discussion, debate, and self-study.
In our Resources section there are several examples that show how the Civic Mirror can be integrated throughout large courses with high-stakes exams like AP U.S. Government & Politics. Some teachers, on the other hand, like using the Civic Mirror as a stand-alone unit, using a scope and sequence like the 5-week unit plan as a lesson guide.
Experience = Relevance = Worth Learning
Again, the Civic Mirror does not replace traditional teaching and learning. Students still need to read and work at understanding the course content. But because the Civic Mirror turns students into citizens who must survive in and mange their own country (with its own government, court system, economy, etc.), the course content becomes more interesting and relevant. This makes the material worth learning! And using the rewards and incentives the Civic Mirror provides amplify this effect.
Rewards, Incentives, and Reading Checks
By taking advantage of (1) the Civic Mirror's rewards and incentives and (2) our suggested open book reading check method (from the second video), teachers are finding (a) student buy-in is HUGE and (b) they don't have to spend as much time "covering" the material because their students are covering it on their own outside of class ... in preparation for the open-book, reward-linked reading checks!
This method of using the Civic Mirror in tandem with open book reading checks allows teachers to devote more class time to (1) reviewing and discussing the material at a higher level, and (2) the Civic Mirror.
Also, we would recommend teachers link Civic Mirror $$ or Points to effort-based assignments that help their students prepare for the standardized exams. For example, Regan Ross, the creator of the Civic Mirror education program, required his students complete this Vocabulary Assignment for every unit of study. He linked its completion to Civic Mirror $$ and Point-Steals, and even allowed his students to sell their vocab memory tricks to one another for CM $$. His last group of students scored 7% higher than the state/provincial average on the standardized exam.
Can CM Be Run With A Small Class?
Yes, so long as there are 5 or 6 students. While smaller classes won't experience 'representative government' with some student politicians representing all the other student citizens, the students in your small class will be involved in all of the political/legal processes.
Suggestions for Small Classes
1. Less Politicians. If you're running the U.S. Module, merge the two congressional houses into one senate, and explain to your students that the senators will assume the roles of both the House and the Senate. If your class is really small, you may want to have only 2 instead of 3 senators, with the President acting as a tie-breaker for votes. If you're running the Canadian module, decrease the House of Commons to 3 or 5, whichever size you think works better for your class.
2. Decrease Residence Hexes. When the Civic Mirror begins there are 11 residence hexes. After the Practice Run, change some of these residence hexes into wilderness hexes so that the supply isn't more than the demand (i.e. number of students). For example, if you have a class of 7 students, don't start the game with more than 7 residence hexes.
3. Less Energy/Industry (E/I) Units. Recall that every business or residence hex in the Civic Mirror requires an E/I unit to serve its purpose. If you get rid of some of the residence hexes, you may want to add a rule that would reduce the number of units an E/I hex produces to 10 or 11 (down from 15). If you don't, students with some hidden agendas will have an unfair advantage. Because we don't have a 'unit destroyer' at this time, you'll have to enforce this (i.e., "Johnny, you cannot use more than 10 or 11 of the units your E/I hex produces or you will be fined $$ or WB Pts").
Hope these help!
How are students evaluated in Civic Mirror?
At the back of the instructors manual is a performance evaluation rubric that we recommend educators use at the end of every simulated year. Basically it uses the formative assessment model whereby by (1) students reflect on and evaluate their own performance against the criteria, (2) the educator reviews the students' self-assessment, and then (3) assigns a final mark with feedback so that the students know how to become a higher performing citizen in their simulated country, and (ideally) the real world too.
The Civic Mirror evaluation process can be very powerful, actually. And note that "game success" is but one of the 4 categories in the evaluation, with the other 3 touching on learning outcomes that are embedded into the educational goals of every state/provincial curriculum:
- Attitude and involvement,
- Initiative (i.e. active citizenship and entrepreneurship), and
- Demonstration of learning (of course content) in game-play.
We also have a growing list of Reflection & Connection activities that challenge students to apply what they've learned and experienced in the course and through playing Civic Mirror to a real-world challenges. These are so pedagogically rich (and fun for kids) that we designed our learning modules around this backward design model. In other words, the R&C tasks are another great way to assess students using the Civic Mirror.
Are there ways for my students to communicate with students in other schools?
Yes, absolutely. Students from different states and provinces talk about the Civic Mirror and "Real World" issues (i.e. politics, economics, law, business strategy, etc.) with another all the time. Not only is there a General Discussion space and a CM World Newsreel, but students can view the discussion forums of other simulated countries (i.e. classes of students) and post comments (that is, if the country allows 'foreigners' to post comments). There have been many lively discussions between students from all over the continent on weeknights and weekends.
Also note that we have built in measures to prevent students from using abusive language, and, if they try to, our profanity filter and "report abuse" features work to keep the online space fun, friendly, and safe.
Do I need to install software?
Absolutely not. So long as you have access to the internet and internet browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, FireFox, Safari, etc), you're good to go. It's very low maintenance to run.
Civic Mirror World - Multiple Country Scenarios
One day (hopefully soon) The Civic Mirror will have an International Play component, where two or more classrooms will be able to join together and create a Civic Mirror World. Countries would then be able to trade with one another, negotiate with one another, and even attack to conquer one another. In International Play, 3 events would be added to the existing Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, but I can’t tell you what they’ll be just yet. It’s my vision to see Civic Mirror classrooms from a variety of schools traveling to participate in International Civic Mirror Tournaments. Could you imagine 500 student at a convention center running around with laptops and Blackberries and iPhones working out domestic and international business, diplomatic, and humanitarian deals?
I really believe these Civic Mirror World Tournaments will be as – or more – exciting than they typical sports tournaments that get so much hype. That’s because everyone will be involved, everyone will be in the middle of high-intensity, high-tech negotiations. It’s going to be lots of fun, and the learning possibilities will be unbelievable.
One day, this will be the space for Civic Mirror Worlds, but for now, all we can do is play the game and spread the word so more and more people start using it in their schools and classrooms.