Creating Amazing Learning with Election Edge
Andrew Gump, Ph.D.
August 24, 2021
The past 18 months have shown us the importance of online educational support in our ever-changing world. It is not easy or intuitive to create an online platform that engages and educates at the same time. We have asked much of educators: recreate your classroom virtually while we sort out other issues. The good news is we are not in this alone and we have seen countless champions rise to the occasion and thrive. It is our goal at Second Avenue to help educators do exactly that, thrive in the middle of the adversity.
As the pandemic hit, universities and personal friends were asking me: “How do I do this?!” I could see the anxiety on their faces and almost hear the gears grinding in their minds as they tried to make online education work. Meanwhile, I was trying to compile over a decade of research and practice into a fleeting few moments and something that wouldn’t overwhelm them like trying to drink from a fire hose. The task for both parties, seemed like a mountain we couldn’t climb fast enough. In the end, my solution came down to one thing:
Make the call, you can motivate your students.
Since its inception, online education has lived and died on its ability to motivate its learners. For an online learner, if they are not getting what they want, it is easy for them to “check out”. If they are not there, not interested, then it goes without saying they won’t learn. Motivating them to persist is the key.
Capturing a students’ attention and providing relevance are often the hardest things to do online in a meaningful way. Add challenging content like the U.S. elections and it seems almost impossible. Thankfully the developers at Second Avenue understand the challenges of both and have developed a tool to help any civics teacher this fall, Election Edge.
Election Edge is an online platform that brings the U.S. Election Process to life. Gaining students’ attention by utilizing stunning imagery and real-time data generated graphics, students are brought into the learning environment. Tracking the important issues of today and connecting them with the past gives insight into the importance and relevance of what our election process is all about. As students ask, “why is this important to me?”, Election Edge connects the dots, so they understand every vote counts.
As students actively engage with the tool they travel through the primaries to prediction central, and their confidence grows as they understand the process and its importance. Their satisfaction is met as they manipulate the outcomes of past elections and realize just how close some of our most contested elections were. Election Edge puts the power of the elections at your fingertips and takes the pressure of knowing everything off the teacher. It was designed to make teaching elections easier. Finally, with fun games like scavenger hunts and the ability to run your own classroom elections, Election Edge gives you and your students the power to own your learning.
In an era where online learning can be mandated, it is essential we are prepared to motivate our students. You can do it, and Election Edge can help!
Andrew has dedicated his life to learning. Earning his Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Instructional Technology from a tier-1 research institution, his obsession of motivating learners through the best research-backed theologies and practices leads our team to great heights. His dissertation focused on using gameplay and virtual worlds to facilitate motivation in second-language acquisition. This pioneering work connected the beneficial components of gameplay and its impact on language learning. His high expectations of the learning experience create engaging environments for learners that encourages them to persist in their education. His 16 years of designing experience are spread from kindergarten to doctoral level courses and across a variety of subjects. That experience allows him to confidently say that he is not only capable of leading teams to design effective learning but meeting the learners where they are while taking them on the journey to their dreams.