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Critically Thinking About the Presidential Election 2000:
Integrating Technology Into Your Curriculum

A Hands-On Technology Workshop Presented by Julie Coiro

SERC, Beginning Teachers Program
Thursday, May 11, 2000


Where are we going today?
Visual Diagram of Effective Technology Integration (Inspiration)
The Role of Technology in Your Curriculum(Powerpoint Slide Show)

Exploring Learning Centers:

  • Inspiration: Electronic Graphic Organizer and Outlining Tool
  • Using Webquests: Challenging Inquiry Activities with Online Resources and Support
  • Tom Snyder's Decisions, Decisions Software and Online Forum
  • Microsoft Excel: Creating and Interpreting Graphs
  • Microsoft Powerpoint: Importing Digital Images and Creating Slide Shows
  • Netscape Composer: Students Publishing Online Learning Resources
  • Microsoft Word: Creating Rubrics for Assessment

Adapting A Lesson Plan to Include Technology as a Tool for Learning

1. Introduce Topic / Motivate Learner
2. Build Background / Relate to Current Knowledge
3. Encourage Thoughtful Response
4. Guide Original Application and Communication of Learning
5. Evaluate and Inspire Further Learning
Lesson Component:

Task / Technology Tool / Resources

Why Bother?
Introduce Topic /
Motivate Learner :

In small groups, students use a template to create a concept map displaying the relationships between specific election terms. They use an electronic graphic organizer like Inspiration. Later, they share their map with other groups to see the many ways that the terms can fit together. (Julie's Inspiration Basics)

Students are:

* actively involved in collaborative concept formation

* actively clarify personal opinions while recognizing other perspectives of peers

* motivated to create by ability to clarify concepts in their strongest learning style

* motivated by ease of later editing, redefining and reclarifying relationships between concepts in their own minds and for sharing with peers; it's OK to not know how all the terms fit together at this point (Inspiration to learn more)

Build Background / Relate to Current Knowledge:

Design Treasure Hunt / Webquest that inspires students to access current resources and gather relevant background about important issues, the election process and the primary candidates in the election

See Webquest Election 1996

See List of Resources

* access to current information and a wealth of background knowledge from many sources and from many perspectives

* practice locating relevant information from electronic sources and summarizing findings

* student task is placed within a broad essential question and product may look a bit different for each learner

* students can actively participate in online surveys and see immediate results (feeling they CAN affect their surroundings)

Prompt Thoughtful Discussion:

Tom Snyder's Decisions, Decisions 5.0 Software:
On The Campaign Trail:

See also Decisions, Decisions Online Forum

* designed to foster skills in critical thinking, cooperative learning, and the ability to dialogue in meaningful conversation

* students work together to create the best solutions

* interaction with video, computers and other individuals allows practice in a variety of communication and leadership skills

* five step critical thinkin process (analyze situation, determine goals, consider options, make decision, examine consequences)

* online forum uses current regional and national data with discussion board to practice persuasive writing

Encourage Thoughtful Response:

Use data from information gathered in Internet search and/or classroom discussion to create a visual graph using Microsoft Excel that compares and contrasts a certain issue, idea or topic. Later students can interpret graph in a written summary.

See Excel Activity Handout

* students build skills in locating relevant data and applying it to new situations

* opportunities to learn spreadsheet basics while manipulating data

* students with visual strengths have new opportunities to excel

* graphs can reflect up-to-the minute polling changes downloaded from online resources or gathered through online forums

Guide Original Application and Communication of Learning:

Give students an open ended assignment to create a PowerPoint slide show about The Top Ten ... (ie.)

*Top 10 Reasons to Vote For...
* Top 10 Issues of the Election

OR Create a webpage using Netscape Composer (or upload PowerPoint slide show) as part of a classroom project for others to learn from or interact with

*demonstrate cooperative learning skills by working with partner(s)

* collect a vareity of research materials using online and offline resources

* students motivated by power to create and communicate their own interpretations and persuasive arguments

* demonstrate skills in writing, organizing, notetaking, and publishing in a multimedia environment

* student created work can now be used as a learning resource for other students learning about the similar material

Evaluate and Inspire Further Learning

Involve students in developing a rubric for evaluating work

See Rubrics for Web Lessons

Return to original concept map using Inspiration and edit / revise to reflect new learning

Develop interactive assessments using or EdTech Tools

* rubrics allow assessment to be more objective and consistent

* students can clearly see how their work will be evaluated and what is expected

* students become more aware of criteria used in assessing peer performance

* students revisit examples of previously demonstrated knowledge and actively take part in revising a product to reflect new learning; great opportunities for student reflection and assimilation with old learning

Presidential Election Resources:

Elections 2000
Scholastic Special Report: Election 2000
  • Meet the candidates and learn more about the issues
  • Read firsthand reports from student reporters in grades 4-8
  • Vote online and see instant results
  • Access web resources
C-SPan Campaign 2000:
Includes links to American President Resources with great lesson ideas, online quizzes and teacher materials

Kids Vote For President: See first hand online voting results and link to presidential candidates' web sites

Project Vote-SmartGet background on election isses and names of individuals running for any type of office
URL: Election 2000 Internet Resources: Background on all issues (from left menu) and information about all candidates running for office

How To Elect A U.S. President: BBC creates an easy to understand sequence of steps in the presidential election process

Webquest Election 1996

Presdential Elections Background and History

The American Presidency: Grolier Online: Many links to build background knowledge associated with the history of the presidency and the people who have held that office URL:

Presidential Speeches: Multimedia presidential speeches, classroom activities, reelection simulation, and presidential scavenger hunt ideas

Time and The Presidency Virtual Exhibit and presidential quiz

Presidents of The United States Background information and multimedia sound and video files from each presidency URL:

Decisions, Decisions Online Forum A temporarily free forum for involving students in the discussion about current events from today's headlines. Includes online poll, discussion boards, and related web links and activities.

CD-ROM Resources:
1999 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia Deluxe Edition (Grolier Interactive
Includes articles, photo gallery, atlas, timelines, guided tours and interactivities as well as well organized related links to current information on the Internet

The History of the United States for Young People (American Heritage)
Breaks history down into nine chronological sections and gives a time tour, presidents overview, history makers, background on important American issues, a library to take notes and grab images, arts and entertainment and virtual tours of buildings. Special section on presidents includes great tools to compare and contrast contributions and beliefs of various presidents.

Other Online Teaching Resources
Discovery Channel School

Seven Styles of Learning:  The part they play when developing interactivity

What are three things you learned today that you are anxious to include in your classroom?

What are two things that you would like to learn more about?

What is one frustration that you hope to resolve?

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Credits:  Photographs of Al Gore and George W. Bush courtesy of Enchanted Learning's Vote for President Website

This page was created by Julie Coiro
Last updated May 10, 2000