If you haven’t already figured it out, I can be a bit of a cynic. And becoming more so as the last ads of the campaign cycle through. (I’m looking at you Kansas Governor Brownback. Seriously? You’re running this ad?)
But I’m a firm believer that one of the most important duties we have as US citizens is to vote. In every election. Dogcatcher to president. So next Tuesday is already on my calendar. The sad thing is that many of us won’t be voting next week. Typical turnout for midterm elections is around 40%. And I thing that at least some of that has to do with a lack of information.
Where do I vote? When are voting hours? Sad to say but I still hear questions such Who’s running?
To help solve some of the confusion the Voting Information Project (VIP), developed by The Pew Charitable Trusts, Google, and election officials nationwide, is offering tools that give voters access to the customized information they need to cast a ballot on or before Election Day.
The widget below comes from the VIP. Get your own embed code here. Get the WordPress code here.
And help get people to where they belong next Tuesday.
(Need a few more election tools? Head here for a quick list.)
Many of you have asked for specific resources that focus on the upcoming mid-term elections. Hopefully this quick list of tools will help:
“Sorting out the truth in politics”
Access. Analyze. Act
Discover the power of social media while promoting your students’ civic engagement
CNN Election Center
Monitoring the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players
FactCheck’s educator’s page
Who’s buying your politician?
Originally designed for the 2008 election, this site does a great job breaking down election data
Tracks political polls for U.S. federal elections
Yahoo Political Dashboard
Same thing, just from Yahoo
HuffPost Election Center
Great charts and graphs
Talking Points Memo Poll Tracker
All Sides Election Center
Sweet site that provides news / commentary from left, center, right perspectives
VoteSmart / VoteEasy
How to vote and who you should vote for
C-Span’s Election Classroom
Center for Action Civics
Student News Daily
It’s not what you think. Though I suppose that it is possible that a social studies class could, well . . . be not very good. I’m not talking about history classrooms where learning goes to die. I’m talking about a class that encourages high levels of thinking, connects emotion with content, allows for physical movement, and forces kids to make choices.
I’m talking about Things That Suck. Read more
It was the best of the times. It was the worst of times.
The last session of the weekend. Good? Because I’m tired. Bad? Because . . . duh, no more hanging out with, and learning from, other social studies nerds.
But I am looking forward to this session. The focus is on First Amendment rights, Mary Beth Tinker, and citizenship in the 21st century educational world. Mary Beth is one of the Tinkers in Tinker vs. Des Moines, the landmark Supreme Court case that outlines the First Amendment rights of students.
She’s here. (How cool is that?) And she’s talking about how her case is being defined and how it should be defined in the current world of social media and technology. (how cool would it be to be able to say “my Supreme Court case?) Need a more in-depth review of the case? Head to Oyez site.
Mary Beth is working with the Newseum and the Student Press Law Center to educate kids about their rights. And perhaps more importantly, educators. The question they are focusing on?
What is the schoolhouse gate in the 21st century? Read more
I’m hoping that by the time you read this, Congress has moved past kicking sand at each other and turned the government back on. I’m not holding my breath but who knows, maybe some grownups will show up and actually do something productive.
Until that happens, you might find the following resources useful in your conversations: Read more