NBC News has launched a free, collaborative learning community for students ages 13 and up that incorporates gaming, discussion, and video resources in a safe, online environment. Created by NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News, the site’s name—iCue—stands for Immerse, Connect, Understand, and Excel. Its learning platform uses a patented technology, based on research from the MIT Education Arcade, called the CueCard; it’s a combination media player, flash card, note-taking tool, and trading card. This “flip-card” technology allows users to watch streaming videos from NBC News and then “flip” the CueCard over for additional information. Users can “snag” CueCards and store them in personal resource libraries (or CueCard “Stacks”), customize them using the “jot” feature to write thoughts and opinions, and exchange comments about content with their iCue friends. MIT is conducting a study to find out how iCue can help students learn and build critical thinking and 21st-century communication skills. The web site’s launch has a politically themed collection of games and activities highlighting the 2008 presidential race. Over the summer, NBC Learn will add content and course curriculum for U.S. history, U.S. government and politics, and English language and composition. All content is aligned with the education standards for Advanced Placement courses.
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