Tools to Facilitate the Learning in Government
The study of American Government involves examining controversial decisions about many past, present-day, and future issues. Throughout this course, students will be expected to develop opinions about select topics and present their ideas in written format. To assist students in seeing multiple perspectives, we will be utilizing the program Write-About. Write About provides thought provoking pictures for students that they can then evaluate and write about. As such, when we discuss issues such as government spending, students can view pictures that reflect what happens with the money that is spent and then use those images to challenge their own knowledge. This will allow students to better understand their own ideas and beliefs. Further, this tool will allow students to share their writing with their classmates and discuss their ideas with one another, thereby allowing students to further obtain different points-of-view.
The old saying is that a picture speaks a thousand words. Canva provides just this sort of opportunity to students in that they can easily manipulate pictures to create postures that represent their beliefs and ideas. This can be incredibly useful for students when they create their own interest groups and political parties as they can use Canva to create posters that best represent their ideas and beliefs.
In order to effectively debate the validity of a decision, students must have basic knowledge regarding the overall topic. In order to help students develop their knowledge base, we will be using WikiGalaxies. WikiGalaxy allows students to "explore the universe of knowledge" to obtain basic facts and information about certain topics. Wikigalaxies is incredibly helpful for students as they can type keywords relating to their subjects into the search bar and zoom to the appropriate star cluster. Once students read the information from the article that they have requested, they can observe the connecting star paths to increase their background knowledge. For example, if students are researching debates amongst religious groups regarding the roles and responsibilities of women, they can research women's rights and once they get to the article there may be numerous off shoots from the article for relevant information such as key activist leaders, women's rights in various cultures, etc.