I love election season.
I hate politicians that say stupid things and do stupid stuff. But I love elections.
Because when you think about, the democratic election process is such an incredibly unique event. Try and ignore for a minute the billion dollars worth of Koch Brothers PAC money and the racist comments and the focus on soundbites and lack of policy discussions that might actually improve lives. And focus instead on the amazing process that ends with a peaceful transfer of power in one of the most powerful countries in the world.
It’s a system that’s worked fairly well for over 200 years.
And we need to continue sharing that idea with our students. The problem? The process is more complicated than it looks. Take, for example, an article describing why Donald Trump really doesn’t have a chance of winning the Republican nomination. Like most things, the political process (especially the primary system) is much more complicated and nuanced than pundits and politicians seem to suggest.
How can we help kids start to understand the process? Use more tech. Specifically, start using mobile apps that simulate the process in ways that make sense. Today you get a few of my new favorites. Read more
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
An extreme fan or follower of a particular medium or concept, whether it be sports, television, film directors, video games, etc.
Yes. That’s me. I follow politics. I’m an extreme fan of elections and love talking strategy, candidates, and poll numbers – and just about anything else that connects somehow with the process. I’m an election fanboy.
So I’m probably one of a very small group of election geeks who cares much about yesterday’s presidential election.
Negative ads. Political mud-slinging. Character attacks by supporters of various candidates. Dirty tricks. Personal insults. Outrageous newspaper editorials. Predictions of national collapse and disunity.
Yeah. Elections can be rough. Imagine if it was this bad in 2012, rather than the election of 1800. John Adams was running for re-election against the challenger Thomas Jefferson. And it was not pretty. But the election of 1800 is interesting not so much for its ugly of its temperament or even the change in the Constitution that it caused.
It’s interesting to me because this was one of the first elections in which new technology, the use of newspapers as a part of the campaign process, became widespread.
And while the mudslinging hasn’t really changed that much, the technology has. It’s a different world than Jefferson’s – one full of social media, internet ads, Twitter, texting, email / online campaign contributions, and instant video are creating a different sort of election process. The infographic below highlights some of these changes. Read more
For political junkies like me, this is Super Bowl week. If you haven’t noticed, the 2012 election is tomorrow. Yes. Tomorrow.
I’ve been loving all of the online / TV coverage of polls, events, speeches, fundraising, and pundits. And I’ve been just a little freaked out.
Rand McNally has partnered with ImpactGames and iCivics to create a very cool election simulation that is perfect for engaging kids in the election process.
Called Play the Election, the sim is a free, collaborative, online tool that teaches students about the 2012 election and the election process through a series of games, resources and competition.
Students predict the election winners for each state on an interactive election map, and compare their predictions to their class and the country to see where they rank. The program also includes eleven digital mini-games that delve deeper into influential and battleground states, like California and Texas, and Ohio and Florida.
Play the Election includes thirteen lesson plans that support core concepts to grades 7-12, crafted by expert teachers specializing in government and civics – and all aligned to the Common Core and the National Standards for Civics and Government.
Teachers are administrators for the students in their class and have access to Lesson Plans and related teacher materials. Each student receives his/her own login as part of the class you create. You’ll find quick start guides for students and lots of resources for teachers.
All this and it’s free!