A. Instruction - 6.6
B. Design - 8.3
C. Engagement - 8.7
Countable: A Needed App for Social Studies
Summary : Understand the Issues, Make the Vote
Countable allows users to quickly gain information and voice their opinion about social, political, and cultural issues being debated by the government. To engage Countable, users must first register by entering in their email or Facebook information. Next, users are able to access Countable’s home screen, which provides them with different options using the dropdown menu buttons at the top of the screen. The “Bills” button lets users view trending issues, federal legislation, and New York City legislation. Users can view and vote on the issue from this screen or they can tap the “More Details” button to access additional information about it and then vote. The “Issues” button let users view topics by category, and the “More” button provides additional information about this app.
- To frame a class debate, teachers can choose the “Issues” button and select a topic by tapping it. Teachers can then connect their iPad to a projector to show students the issue they will be debating. Next, the teacher can form groups of 3-5 students and have each group locate the item in this app from their iPad. The groups can then read about the issue and vote on it. Additionally, each group will have to compose a paragraph that provides a rationale explaining their perspective on the topic. Finally, the teacher can moderate a class debate by calling on groups to share their thoughts and allowing times for groups to respond to each other’s thoughts.
- As a writing prompt, students can explore this app for a topic that interests them. Once found, students can compose an essay where they express their opinion regarding the topic. To format the essay, students can first introduce and summarize the topic in the first paragraph. Next, students can compose a thesis statement that voices their stance about the topic. Students can then compose additional paragraphs that each makes points in support of their thesis statement. Student essays can be written using the Quip, Office Offline, or WPS Office app, and the essays can be both emailed to their teacher for grading and shared with classmates by posting to a class website.
- To develop academic argumentative skills, pairs of students can select or be assigned an issue to debate from this app. Students can then be given time to research the topic. When ready, the pair of students can debate the topic in front of the class using a “point-counterpoint” format. At the debate’s conclusion, the students who observed it can vote on the issue and write a short rationale that justifies their vote.
- After becoming familiar with the issues in this app, students can research a local issue and create a website using the Jimdo or Weebly app to bring awareness to it. On the website, students can include what a “Yea” and “Nay” vote means in addition to supplying background information regarding it.
Please Note: Users can also access the Countable website at https://www.countable.us/.
|A2. 21st Century Skills|
|A3. Conn. to Future Learning|
|A4. Value of Errors|
|A5. Feedback to Teacher|
|A6. Level of Material|
|A7. Cooperative Learning|
|A8. Accom. of Individual Diff.|
|B1. Ability to Save Progress|
|B2. Platform Integration|
|B3. Screen Design|
|B4. Ease of Use|
|B6. Goal Orientation|
|B7. Information Presentation|
|B8. Media Integration|
|B9. Cultural Sensitivity|
|C1. Learner Control|