Middle School History Teacher and Humanities Lead Wynn Richards makes election season real to 8th graders with a great project that demonstrates the creative potential of using the iPad as a digital tool in the classroom:
San Domenico School's 8th graders have been very excited about the 2012 elections! They have watched the debates and kept up with all the twists and turns of the campaigns. They will have a chance to vote for themselves by taking a survey. But the hardest part of being a California voter is trying to decipher all of the state propositions, with their tricky wording and hidden donors.
In my history class, groups of 2 and 3 students were assigned one state proposition to research. Students were instructed to distill the main points, the pros and cons, the supporter and donor information, economic implications for taxpayers and the state, and finally--recommend a Yes or No vote on the proposition.
This was challenging and interesting, and students dived into it with enthusiasm. Our goal was to create a class Voter Guide that we could share with parents and teachers. Each group of students researched and put their findings into their own words, used catchy graphics, and created information pages using either Pages or Notability (some also used Google Drive). The layouts and the info presented were entirely students' own creations.
They emailed their pages to me, and I compiled everything into ePubs for use in iBooks using the fun app called Book Creator for iPad.
This was truly a labor of love, but we are very proud of our Voter Guides, which can be accessed through the links below. Use your iPad--open them in iBooks: