This week our school has been holding student council elections. Our class has been following the 2012 Presidential Election since the start of the school year, and we have gotten excited about the possibility of our own classroom elections. Students have been nominating each other, writing speeches and preparing to vote by digital ballots.
This idea started an interesting discussion about the nature of our democracy in the United States and the balance of power between the branches of government. We even got off topic a bit and shared our stories about our favorite past presidents.
I found some nice online election tools I want to share with my class as we move forward. The first tool of interest I found on the blog historytech,wordpress.com. What I found that interested by appeared in a post a few weeks ago about campaign ads. I was most interested to learn about The Living Room Candidate, which is a website that catalogs the past 60 years of political campaign ads. I want to share this with my students not only because of their own interest in the history of the presidency, but to help them along with idea of their own campaign speeches they are preparing for the class.
The next tool that I think my class will be excited to hear about is something I pulled from Richard Byrne’s blog called Free Technology for Teachers. He shared a site called Ad-O-Matic, which was developed by the National Constitution Center. The site allows students create their own campaign ad from a very simple four step project builder. The biggest trick might be providing students with an image to load for the ad, but their is an option to use your devices built in webcam if you have one. To help my students I posted a link to their headhsots in Picasa.
I plan to share this with my students soon, and look forward to showing them a bit of U.S. Election History as well as helping them upgrade their own election campaigns for our school student council. Hopefully they will even get to share what they make on their own blogs, which can be accessed here.