||As we all know, the candidates in this year's election are using the Internet extensively to get their message out and to promote their respective fund raising campaigns. Many Civics and Social Studies teachers are discussing the election in class, and educators ought to consider using the web to teach students about the election. Of course we can go directly to the candidates' sites to view their policies (Obama, McCain) but here are a couple of other resources teachers may want to consider using in their classes.
For younger students, Scholastic News Online
provides a good overview of the issues and some interactive features - students can run for election, role-play as the President and guess where the candidates stand on important issues.
For high school students and teachers, Factcheck.org
is designed to help students learn to cut through the misinformation and deception that surrounds the many messages they’re bombarded with - great for media literacy in general but also a lot of information around the election.
One of the most extensive websites I have come across is "Access, Analyze, Act
" from PBS. The site was featured on Classroom 2.0
It gives teachers a blueprint for engaging students in the election using social media tools. Excellent supporting materials including teaching suggestions (don't worry if you're not a "techie" there is support for teachers explaining "social media" and "web 2.0" technologies), lesson plans and online interactive activities. Students have the opportunity to complete quizzes to analyze their political views, send their questions to a real reporter and analyze media coverage of the election.
These are just a few of the many resources available online - you can check out more current events resources
and Civics resources
. I'd be interested in hearing other people's experience with these and other sites.