the iTunes Store, you’ll find free and for-pay apps you can use to help your
students better understand the national election. Apps from the news and
commentary services are free, as are PollTracker and Gallup News. The app
Political Time Machine lets users watch videos of the candidates’ speeches from
different years. For younger students, go to Britannica Kids: US Presidents
($1.99). This one includes information about Presidents and the Presidency. Review apps before you recommend them to your
students, for you’ll need to select ones that fit your students’ ages and
ability levels. —And you’ll want to be careful about using apps that are
biased, meant as humor, or satirical.
Looking for materials on Presidential Elections? Try Education
World. You’ll find links to excellent resources for K-12, including
Scholastic: Election 2012, Time for Kids: Election Connection, Project Vote
Smart, National Student/Parent Mock Election, PBS: Democracy Project, and Rock
the Vote. Take a look at Education
World’s Election Templates, which you can use as “informational handouts”
and/or make your own materials such as worksheets and quizzes using the
template design. (While in the
template section of Education World, you may find other materials to help
you in your teaching.)
TCI was founded by a group of teachers who wanted to improve the way Social Studies is taught. Until recently, they specialized in traditional textbooks. Those texts have been transformed into digital format so that teachers and students can be part of paperless classrooms. TCI offers a complete online learning system for Social Studies at all levels, K-12. The system, according to CEO Bert Bower, a former Social Studies teacher, “is robust enough for tech-savvy teachers, yet intuitive and easy for technophobes.” TCI features excellent content, rich images, file sharing, messaging, interactives, bookmarking, maps, glossaries, and much more. Text-to-audio, both in English and Spanish, is part of the program, as are game-like reading challenges and interactive student notebooks for online writing and drawing activities that are based on the common Core Standards. Try the program by signing up for the company’s 30-day free trial.
Students who attend the Washington Workshops come back to their schools raving about the experience. The Colonial Dames offer a way for high school students to take part in this nonprofit educational program by providing tuition, seminar materials, university campus housing, two meals each day, a week of learning about the national government, and having fun with other state representatives who are also interested in politics and history. If you are familiar with the Colonial Dames essay competition for this award, be warned that the deadlines, both for online and offline entries, have been moved up to 12/01/12 for mailed in submissions and 11/28/12 for online submissions. The theme for this year is “How does the Monroe Doctrine determine our past and present dominance as a world power.”
High School Juniors whose homes are served by an electric cooperative are eligible to apply to be one of 1500 student leaders who will meet in Washington, D.C., June 17-21. While in Washington, they will learn about the history of the United States, meet with their Congressional Delegation, tour historic attractions, and learn about the electric co-op movement. For information, contact your local electric cooperative for deadlines, applications, and essay information; and check the Youth Tour Website.