Screenshot from Electoral Decoder product
September 8, 2016

PBS LearningMedia Launches New Election Central Interactive to Teach Kids about the Role of the Electoral College

PBS LearningMedia rolled out significant new teaching tools today as part of the Election Central site, which provides curated information to teach K-12 students about the election process in a safe, ad-free and non-partisan environment. d'Vinci created both the K-12 content and the technology in collaboration with PBS.

Screenshot of the Electoral Decoder productWith the new interactive, the Electoral Decoder, middle and high school students learn about the impact of the Electoral College. Students explore the topic through an introductory video about the Presidential election process, an interactive timeline for all of the 57 past Presidential elections and a "Presidential Predictor" area for the current election.

In the “Presidential Predictor” section, students can "play a political pundit" with the current election year to see how Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or others could win or lose the election. With the help of a cartogram, students see how a state that is large geographically may have a low number of votes. It can also show how a candidate who has lost most of the states - can still win the Presidency. Then, students can print out their maps and even share them via social media.

“At PBS Education, we want to give educators and learners a tool that allows students to explore how the Electoral College works, and give them the context and resources to think about each presidential election in terms of the challenges and environments of the day,” said Amy P. Hayes senior editorial associate with PBS Education. “With the Electoral Decoder we give students the tools to discover for themselves why an election turned out the way it did, and apply that knowledge and critical thinking to the election of today,” she added.

A teacher’s guide includes ideas for how the interactive can be used in the classroom and for outside assignments.To view all of educator-focused election resources, visit Election Central. The site is updated daily with new election resources.

Election Central was created in partnership between PBS LearningMedia and PBS, to offer a free online destination of election-related resources and content to teach K-12 students about the political process. PBS LearningMedia is a free media-on-demand service from PBS that offers more than 100,000 digital resources for classroom use.

Susan Cort

By Susan Cort, Director of Communications

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