Overcoming Election Ignorance – 7 #Free Apps to Keep You Informed #electionresults

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“How hard would it be for my students to monitor news about the Presidential election and then present their findings to the rest of their class?” The question is certainly intriguing and I bet there are resourceful teachers already doing something similar with their students. And, perhaps, how would using technology in this way help students appreciate how they stay informed as compared to how folks stayed informed back in the day (e.g. newspapers, evening news broadcasts)? That’s what some call digital literacy…

Like most Americans, I often find myself glued to my television, listening to stirring speeches from Republican and Democratic candidates. When I hear something that irritates me, I desire to learn more about the candidate making what I may consider silly remarks, or conversely, cleverly entertaining ones designed to engage. More importantly, I am curious to find out about the democratic process.

When I vote in a Primary election, what does that mean? What is the significance of delegates and super-delegates? Often, I wish I could watch several news channels at once to get access to the latest information about what is happening…but I can’t. After standing in line to vote in Texas, I suspect I am not alone in my ignorance.

Students analyze the impact of technological innovations on American life. Students use critical-thinking skills and a variety of primary and secondary source material to explain and apply different methods that historians use to understand and interpret the past, including multiple points of view and historical context. (Source: Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills)

But what if I had access to mobile apps on my phone that could keep me in touch, that allow me to see primary and secondary source material–raw information–and then make my own interpretations, rather than have them filtered through a potentially biased on-screen personality, whether it be Fox News, MSNBC, or CNN?

And, that’s why this short list of apps are finding their way onto my mobile device:

Politico
“The POLITICO app for iPhone and iPad brings you your politics fix in a clean, easy-to-navigate layout that keeps you up to date when you’re on the go. POLITICO delivers the fastest, most in-depth coverage of politics and policy developments and everything you need to stay up to speed on the 2016 races. “

Poll Tracker
“The 2016 elections are upon us. With Talking Points Memo’s PollTracker app—one of the top apps from the 2012 and 2014 election seasons—you’ll have the very latest information about the political campaigns everyone’s going to be talking about, right at your fingertips.

Get up-to-the-minute data on key races for the 2016 presidential campaign, US Senate and governors’ seats, presidential approval, or issues like gun control or same-sex marriage.”

Election NF 2016
“US Elections! Who will be the most powerful man, or woman in the world? Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker or Ted Cruz? Follow the presidential campaigns all the way, with a non biased feed, without missing a thing! Debates, press releases, media appearances, polls, opinions, analysis and more!

All Politics
All Politics includes:

  • Political News & Views from the hill
  • Left and right talk radio
  • Political satire & cartoons
  • Live republican vs democrat discussions
  • 2016 US presidential election news
  • Aggregated and original news from Politico, Fox, MSNBC and other sources”

FrontRunner
“Follow the 2016 presidential election. See up-to-date polling results with a single swipe with the widget in your Notification Center. See how candidates are polling over time. Pick and choose which candidates to follow and which to ignore. Be the first to know when there are new polling results. We combine the latest opinion polls and update when a new poll is released.”

RealClear
“Updated every morning and throughout the day, RCP culls and publishes the best commentary, news, polling data, and links to important resources from all points of the political compass and covering all the important issues of the day.”

Voter – Matchmaking for Politics
“Answer a few simple questions and find out which politicians truly have your best interests at heart, and have a track record to back it up.”

And, although it’s more of a reference guide to what people have said, let me throw two more in for fun:

PolitiFact
“Find fact-checks by searching name, keywords and subject” (about the only feature that worked!). This app was quite bare except for some information about current candidates (e.g. quotes, positions on hot button items), but you have hope they will add some more information in over time.

Resolve political arguments at the dinner table, check the facts in campaign ads and test your knowledge of the Truth-O-Meter with PolitiFact’s new Settle It! app.”


The arcGIS folks have an interesting Election Results app (works on the web, too), as well, although don’t see many students using it:

Election Results is a configuration of ArcGIS Online and Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS that can be used by citizens and other interested parties to review elections results. This application can be used to share results tabulated on election night; and historical results that are shared after each election. Election Results can accessed from a smartphone, tablet, and desktop computer.
Election Results is typically used by clerks, election commissions, or other local government organizations to deliver a map-based election reporting application. This application provides access to the organization 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and typically supplements tabular results published by these organizations.





References
Not being much of an election buff, I relied on these blog entries (and Google, Apple iTunes) to guide me and point me in the right direction.

  1. 6 Great Apps for the U.S. Presidential Election


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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