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K-12 Evaluated Resource Collection

Dystopia 2153

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Author/Publisher/Website: W.L. Liberman/TEACH Magazine
Copyright: 2018
Evaluation/Record Entry Date: Sep/2018
Submitting suppliers/Website: TEACH Magazine
Recommended Grades and Subjects/Courses: 6-9
(View recommended grades and subjects)

Resource Description

This engaging Canadian resource blends a graphic novel about the risks of computers controlling humans with coding activities. The coding activities are relevant to the story as it unfolds and are clearly explained. This multimedia resource has cross-curricular connections, is suitable as a literature circle choice for grades 6-9, and can launch discussions of artificial intelligence, the role of machines in society, human interaction with machines, environmental issues, and political issues.

CURRICULUM FIT

Does the resource support BC curriculum?
Extensively
This product supports the Core Competencies of the BC curriculum:
Communication
Creative Thinking
Critical thinking
Social Responsibility
Comments:
Dystopia 2153 supports the BC curriculum in these subject areas: ADST (Computational Thinking), English Language Arts, and Math for Grades 6,7,8, and 9. It is a graphic novel with breaks in it during which students complete coding activities. These activities cover ADST learning standards involving algorithms, robotics, programming, and debugging. The storyline in the graphic novel is very engaging and can be used to cover outcomes in Language Arts. The Math learning standards are covered within the coding activities. Students participate in problem solving that involves expressions, linear equations, logic, and two-step equations.

SOCIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Violence:
The characters discuss a Breeding Centre where female children in the novel go when they turn 16 to be forced into pregnancy. One panel has a scene from the Breeding Centre which portrays a female who has just given birth and whose baby is being removed by a robot. The woman is surrounded by blood. The babies are placed on conveyor belts. In another section of the novel, a male character is electrocuted for insubordination.
Do the social considerations support, rather than detract from, student learning?
Extensively
Social Considerations Comments:
Overall, the social considerations support learning. This resource could lead to deep class discussions about artificial intelligence, environmental issues, and political issues.

GENERAL CONTENT

Content
Should this product be identified as Canadian?
Yes
Is the resource engaging?
Extensively
Is the content current for the intended curriculum and grade?
Extensively
Is the content accurate for the intended curriculum and grade?
Extensively
Is the content timely and important for student broad understandings?
Extensively
Audience:
Is the content appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Extensively
Does the resource provide opportunities for creative and critical thinking?
Extensively
Can the content be differentiated?
Not at all or slightly
Can reading level be adjusted?
Not at all or slightly
Is the level of detail appropriate?
Extensively
Is the content of particular interest to male students?
Extensively
Is the content of particular interest to female students?
Extensively
Is the language use appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Extensively
Comments:
Content involves computers, coding, and adventure and current content with enough of a risk to make it engaging.

TECHNICAL DESIGN

Does the resource make effective use of the medium?
Extensively
Is the navigation throughout the site intuitive?
Extensively
Is the content exportable in a variety of file formats such as wpd, doc, pdf, xls, etc.?
Extensively
Are the presentation controls (e.g. sizing, resolutions, volume, etc.) suitable for the classroom?
Extensively
Are images clear?
Extensively
Is the sound quality clear?
Extensively
Is the interface uncluttered?
Extensively
Descriptors:
User-managed password resets
Print and online help provided in simple and brief segments (FAQ, Quick help, etc.)
Technical specifications given
Provides optional print formats
Displays in mobile devices
Comments:
The novel in Dystopia 2153 is professionally drawn with images that are interesting and engaging. It is clear and easy to navigate. The coding activities are well explained by a character who guides students. The graphic novel part of Dystopia 2153 is available in print form for purchase through the website. The teacher guide and answer key are downloadable in PDF format.

INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN

Is the instructional design effective and appropriate for the intended audience?
Extensively
Is the resource suitable for a wide range of learning and teaching styles?
Extensively
Are the instructional elements consistent with the purpose of the resource?
Moderately
Are the concepts clearly explained?
Moderately
Does the progression in learning go from the simple to the complex?
Extensively
Are the content chunking and sequencing appropriate?
Extensively
Does the resource provide multiple strategies to help learners construct meaning?
Moderately
Does the resource support a gradual release of responsibility i.e. explicit instruction, guided practice, independent learning?
Extensively
Does the resource provide varied opportunities to demonstrate learning and extend thinking?
Extensively
Does the resource provide appropriate tools for assessment?
Extensively
Does the resource support the transfer of learning to personal or applied contexts?
Extensively
Comments:
The Teacher Guide that is provided contains activities to aid in covering Language Arts Learning Standards. The activities provided are current and interesting and allow for students to work together. It does not contain any activities to support the Mathematics and Coding Standards that are covered in the program.

DIGITAL COURSEWARE

Does the resource promote the active engagement of the learner by visual and auditory stimulus?
Extensively
Is the learner able to control the learning environment?
Extensively
Does the resource enable ongoing interaction between learner and content?
Extensively
Does the resource enable ongoing interaction between learner and others such as the educator and other students?
Not at all or slightly
Does the resource include timely and frequent formative and summative assessment of the learner using a variety of methods?
Moderately
Can the teacher customize the learning pathways for individuals or groups of students?
Not at all or slightly
Does the resource use multimedia to support learning?
Extensively
Is the quantity of content adequate?
Extensively
Is the quality of content consistent throughout the resource?
Not at all or slightly
Is the resource media-rich?
Extensively
Are the various components of the resource organized in a clear and logical manner?
Extensively
Does the topic or content list indicate the scope of the basic and fundamental concepts of the subject matter?
Extensively
Are the student support components useful?
Moderately
Descriptors:
Student social media tools
Comments:
This is a multimedia reading experience. Students read the novel, which is an engaging story about the risks of computers controlling humans. Coding activities are relevant to the story as it unfolds. Dramatic music plays in the background as the story progresses. The artwork is well done. The coding activities are assessed individually as students complete them and the Teacher Guide contains ideas for lessons with assessment suggestions included. The book can be read on multiple devices and students can start reading at the point they left off on any device.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE VENDOR

Mac Version(s) :
Browser-based
Win Version(s) :
Browser-based
The following solutions are available to address bandwidth issues affecting product delivery to schools:
Files compressed so load times should be decent.
Is Active Directory integration available for updating user data?
Yes

PRIVACY AND SECURITY INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE VENDOR

Does your company store data?
No
The following data fields are required to use this product and will be stored on a server:
First Name (teacher)
Last Name (teacher)
If your product includes assessment tools for use by teachers, please describe those assessment tools. Include the data that may be stored about student progress and achievement:
No assessment tools.
What is the purpose of the storage of the student and/or teacher data?
Teacher user name and email for tech support.
How long will the data be stored and who will remove it?
NA. TEACH Magazine.
Who can access the data and for what purpose?
TEACH Admin, teachers to assign and track student accounts.
Who maintains the custody and control of the data?
TEACH Magazine and license holders.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

Readability:
At intended grade level(s)
Comments:
KOKOA Standard Certified

SUGGESTED CLASSROOM USAGE

Comments:
This resource could be used to cover learning standards in ADST, English Language Arts, and Mathematics. This could be a literature circle novel. Students could use this to examine the role of machines in society and human interaction with machines. There are environmental issues that are also a recurring theme in the novel. The novel also includes a teacher guide with activities for students to complete as they read the novel. Students could work in pairs to cooperatively solve the coding puzzles.

USER SUPPORT

Product User Community Support
Are appropriate product user community resources available?
Extensively
Does the user community have robust support?
Extensively
Frequently Asked Questions and/or Knowledge Base
Is a comprehensive FAQ available for general product use?
Extensively
Is a comprehensive FAQ available for troubleshooting?
Extensively
Short-cut or Quick Reference Guide
Are appropriate sample guides available for general product use?
Not at all or slightly
Are appropriate short-cut guides available for frequent or repetitive actions?
Not at all or slightly
Online Chat and Email Support
Is effective chat and/or email customer support available?
Extensively
Phone Support
Is phone support available for customer service?
Extensively
Does the phone support have added value for this product?
Extensively
User Support Overall
Is user support readily available?
Extensively
Is user support easy to access?
Extensively
Are language and terminology clear and easily understood, either clearly explained or naturally evident?
Extensively
Is user support organized for easy reference?
Extensively
Is user support available for entry, intermediate and advanced users?
Extensively
Is user support available in both English and French?
No
Comments:
The phone support and email support were readily available and our concerns were met immediately.
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