Sunday, October 31, 2010

Google Docs on Youtube

There is now a youtube channel for Google Docs. Most people know about Google Docs (ie word documents) and Presentation (ie PowerPoint), but few know about charts and my new favorite - drawings which is better than Microsoft Paint. Above is how to make a Google Docs Drawing which I use for my map quizzes and tests.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Roberts Court's Influence on Elections

Here is a nice long explanation WashPost of how the Citizens United v. FEC decision has had on this year's campaign. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Midterm Projections

The October issue of PS Political Science & Politics included forecasts for the midterm election. I took the projections to create this graph.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Money Raised This Fall

The Dems and Repubs are neck and neck with party building, but that is not true of individual campaign fundraising and outside groups as you can see here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ladd Ehlinger Ads

So apparently the video on Barney Frank's opponent that was written about below in the NYTimes is not out yet, but above is another one producer Ladd Ehlinger, Jr. did that your students will enjoy as it features the characters in the Wizard of Oz. Judging by his ads, he works with candidates who have no chance of winning as this one (John Dennis) is for the opponent of Nancy Pelosi and the one featured on the NYTimes (Sean Beilat) is running against Barney Frank.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reid vs.Angle

Since we all must teach about the majority leader of the US Senate, the closeness of Harry Reid (D-NV)'s race is rather intriguing.  Here is the HuffingtonPost/Pollster has Angle ahead by 1.6%.

Where Are the Tea Party Candidates?

Really this blog is not THAT much into the NYTimes, but the paper has such a good online presence, that it's hard to avoid mentioning them repeatedly.  For example, here is a page on the Tea Party Candidates that shows that slightly more than half of them are in solid Dem districts and have no chance of getting elected.  Even O'Donnell is in a Dem leaning district.  It does bring up for your students the horse race mentality that the press likes to embrace even if it doesn't really exist in many districts.

The Making of a Political Viral Video

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Changing the Education Paradigm

This is a very interesting video that essentially (in a very entertaining way) describes how our schools were created for an industrial age and asks if we are preparing them for our current world.  I laughed at part of it as I thought of someone who this week complained that I was expecting my students to work too much online - as if they won't need it after high school!

Iowa Caucus Results

This is a website that I use with my students when discussing primaries and caucues. Although the image I've posted has results from 2004 and earlier, 2008 results are available as well. It's a good source for students to draw conclusions, discuss name recognition, etc.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Impact of Citizens United v. FEC

This is a short video detailing the impact of last year's Citizens United v. FEC on this year's midterm elections.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

US Government Cliff Notes

Here is the entire outline of US government from Cliff Notes.

Scary Music & Truth in Negative Ads

Few Lawyers Argue Lots of S Court Cases

This article makes me want to get back to my doctoral research class when I studies the judiciary to look more in depth at this phenomena.  It talks about how more and more cases are being argued before the S Court by S Court experts who are highly successful at getting to the court and getting their desired outcome.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

How to Splice a Video Quickly

Did you ever want to show only part of a video.  Well go to splicd and you just enter in the start and end times as well as the url and you will be all set. Here is a how to video. It only takes one second to make your new video and you even both a new url and code to embed it.  I found this bit from this ed tech site.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Video and Audio of S Court Oral Arguments

For years I have used Bush v. Gore to highlight with my students what an oral argument (and it is a great one to use as there are about 20 governmental terms used in the first five minutes).  Well starting this month, if you go to "oral arguments" and then "audio" on the main page of the Supreme Court's webpage, you can actually hear the week's arguments each Friday.  There are also two released videos of previous arguments.  HERE are the first oral releases from this year's court.
I have spoken about the Huffington Post before, but the Daily Beast is another online only e-paper which is even more political than Huffington is.

How to Read a Poll

Vote Easy

Cool site called Vote Easy helps people determine which candidate matches their beliefs.

The Problem with Polls

I've talked about poll problems before, but this is a great piece from which details that polling is facing problems not just because some do not call cell phone users (which are now the 20/30 crowd), but because people do not like the robo calls, do not speak English and several other reasons.  Also, when you go to the page you can see the probability of each targeted House race going D or R as well as the Senate and gubernatorial races.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Teaching the Tea Party

The Tea Party movement has been getting more and more media attention and we will soon see how it impacts the mid-term elections in November. There are still many unanswered questions though. Will this "movement" evolve into a true third party? What exactly do they stand for?

Two resources that may be helpful when teaching about the Tea Party Movement are: Tea Party Time: The Making of a Political Uprising, an article from Time Magazine. Also, NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr speaks about his feelings on the Tea Party Movement in this clip from All Things Considered. Both audio and a transcript are included.

Campaign Spending by Third Parties

Last year's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission allowed corporations to give unlimited donations to third parties running ads in a campaign.  If that third party is running only issue ads (as opposed to promoting a candidate) it does not have to tell where the money is coming from (therefore getting around the 30/60 requirements of McCain-Feingold). So here is an article explaining that and from now until the election you can go here and see the top interest groups, where they are spending and which party's members they support.  It will be updated weekly until the election. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

2010 Supreme Court

Here is a nice visual which shows how often each justice voted with the majority and minority.  It also allows you to click on the justices and see which person they voted with the most.  Next it has the key cases and how the justices voted.  Finally it has a game which allows you to see if you can sit the justices in order of seniority (I missed one!).

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Interview People via the Web

I have been looking for a free service for a while to interview people via the computer.  The most I have found is ones that allow a free month.  But thanks to "ShellTerrell" whom I follow on Twitter (from Germany), I found Wetoku.  All you do is give a link to the person you want to interview and get online at the same time and push "start."  Immediately you have a link and embedded code to put on a website.  The only disadvantage is that it is not as good quality as some of the other paid ones, but for the price it is excellent.

Health Care Explained

I was told about this video by Terry Geoghegan. It is produced by the Kaiser Foundation and tells (in a simple way) how the new health care law works.

How to Use Google Docs

Yes, there are some videos (go to the browser to find them), but the item below is for those who prefer reading to know how to work Google Docs.

Google Docs - Tipsheet and Resource Guide

Friday, October 1, 2010

CSpan S. Court Video

One cannot say enough good about CSPAN that has made all of their videos public.  I have even talked about their amazing effort to link their videos to all parts of the Constitution.  Above is one such great video that talks about the upcoming court cases this year and the decision to release oral arguments at the end of each week.