I am a San Marino (CA) High School US Government teacher who in the election of 2016 provided the seniors enrolled in my US Government course with one opportunity after another to make use of Poll Everywhere.
To give you some idea of how your students might best use Poll Everywhere during the 2020 Presidential Election, I will share with you now how I used Poll Everywhere during the 2016 Presidential Election.
For starters, I simply asked my students to tell me which candidate and which political party they sided with most.
In the weeks that followed, I asked the students several questions related to the various issues raised during the campaign. Questions such as:
- Do you think the United States should build a wall along its entire border with Mexico?
- Do you support the call for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on?
- Should Supreme Court Justice Scalia’s replacement be chosen by Barack Obama?
- Should the presidential debates include third party candidates?
- Should voters be required to show photo identification in order to vote?
Then just before the election, I asked my students if they thought the election will be rigged?
Given that in the election of 2016 Hillary Clinton received the popular vote and Donald Trump received the electoral college vote, I asked my students after the election whether they thought the Constitution should be amended to get rid of the Electoral College and thereby have the people, by popular vote, decide who shall be the president?
I closed out the 2016 election by doing three things. First I asked the students what they thought about Presidential Election Wednesdays — the term I gave to the fact that every Wednesday, during the fall of 2016 and leading up to the election, I reserved Wednesday’s class time for talk/instruction related to the election.
The specific question I asked: On a scale of 1-10, to what extent did you find Election Wednesdays interesting, informative, and engaging (with a 10 being very interesting, informative, and engaging and a 1 being not at all interesting, informative, and engaging."
10 = 24%
9 = 13%
8 = 24%
7 = 24%
6 or lower = 13%
I then asked the students to rank for me the two things they enjoyed most about Election Wednesdays. I used the Poll Everywhere Ranking Polls option for this.
- Writing a Letter to the Next President
- Predicting the Electoral College
- Engaging in Class Discussion / Debate
- Engaging in a Mock Election
- Playing the Win the White House Game
- Listening to My Lecture - Terrorism, Rise of China, etc.
- Listening to my Lecture - Presidential Election Process
I then asked the students what were the first two words that came to mind when they thought of the words “presidential election 2016.” I used the Poll Everywhere Word Cloud option for this.
When I demonstrated the above-described use of Poll Everywhere for one of our school’s administrators, he was totally and completely impressed.
I’ll be sure to use Poll Everwhere when I teach the election of 2020.