Saturday, October 22, 2011

Free App - The Patriots US

I recently saw this game, The Patriots US, on AppShopper. It is free for a limited time. Here is the official description of it:
The British are coming… Again! It’s been twelve years since the war of 1812 and the British have reassembled and are seeking revenge for their ancestor’s losses. Take control of the cannon and defend the Capitol against the relentless Redcoats. The British have assembled an elite task force consisting of Redcoats, the Scottish Guard and the Green Dragoons. Green Dragoons are known for their savagery and disdain for the American colonies and will stop at nothing to help the Redcoats take control of the Capitol. Defend the Capitol with a barrage of weapons. Advance to the next level and use your war funds to purchase upgrades that can help you defend your country. The fate of America’s freedom rests in your hands. See if you have what it takes to fight off the Redcoats and send them back to their country empty handed… Again!
I really debated whether I should download it for my fourth grade iPad Social Studies pilot. On the surface, it looks like a typical strategy game, and I wasn't sure what educational value it might have. But then I started thinking...
What if students were assigned the task of evaluating the historical accuracy and integrity of this game? It could open up an inquiry into:
  • US-British relations in the era following the American Revolution and the War of 1812.
  • Battle strategies and alliances
  • Living conditions in early America
  • The economics of military spending and costs of war
Students could also recommend changes to the game to make it more historically accurate, if necessary.
There seems to be a shortage of historically-based social studies apps out there, but I think we could still use several of them if we think creatively about their purposes and the lessons we hope to craft surrounding them.

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