C-SPAN Classroom Brings the Presidential Election to YOUR Classroom!

  • Aug 25, 2016

Print

The 2016 presidential election enters the home stretch this semester, which presents teachers with a great opportunity to transform current events into learning opportunities.

And our friends at C-SPAN are ready to help!

Just one of the many fine networks delivered to your school each month as part of the DIRECTV SCHOOL CHOICE program package, C-SPAN is an outstanding resource for unvarnished coverage of news and current events, and always at the forefront when it comes to marshaling the power of television for education. For the current election, they’ve assembled a variety of videos and classroom materials you can start downloading right now.

We invited C-SPAN representatives to tell you more about their C-SPAN Classroom initiative, and to outline what resources are available:

C-SPAN Classroom is a free membership service for social studies teachers with the mission to enhance the teaching of social studies through C-SPAN’s primary source programming and websites. This fall, as we head toward election day, C-SPAN Classroom continues to update the Campaign 2016 section of our website. These educational resources provide explanations of the various aspects of the election process for candidates vying to become the next President of the United States. Separated into 10 main areas, each topic is supplemented with related video clips, discussion questions, handouts, and culminating activities to engage your students in the election process.

Our most recent updates feature clips on candidates and the media, endorsements, the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, vice president selection, and voter values.

You can access all of C-SPAN Classroom’s free educational resources, including the Campaign 2016 page on our website.

C-SPAN Classroom and the C-SPAN Networks are made possible by the support of DIRECTV.

 

NOTE: In order to help us keep you informed about other free resources and educational programs, please be sure to bookmark this site and follow us on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

Apply Today for the C-SPAN 2016 Teacher Fellowship Program

  • Jan 25, 2016

twitter_cspan_icon

If you are a state certified middle or high school teacher (U.S. History, Civics, Government, or related curriculum) who uses C-SPAN resources in your classroom, you could find yourself in the nation’s capital this summer helping to shape education nationwide!

C-SPAN is seeking innovative educators for its 2016 Teacher Fellowship Program, which will take place over the course of four consecutive weeks this June-July at the network’s offices in Washing, DC.

Chosen Fellows will collaborate with the C-SPAN Education department to develop new teaching materials using the network’s vast library of resources, and participants will also be invited to brainstorm ideas with fellow teachers at a series of educator conferences.

And to seal the deal, each Fellow receives a stipend of $7,000 to cover housing, travel, and living expenses.

So, what are you doing this summer?

Registration is open until Friday, February 26, 2016. For more information visit C-SPAN Classroom.

And to find out about other great opportunities and free educational resources, be sure to bookmark this site and follow us on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

C-Span

War Stories

  • Jan 08, 2016

Capture

It’s nearly impossible for the uninitiated to fully appreciate what it’s like to be a soldier at war, and yet it’s really the duty of every American to at least try. After all, the personal sacrifices made by the members of our military, the harrowing experiences and losses endured by even those who return to us fully intact, are made on our behalf.

So with an eye toward understanding, we’re proud to help get the word out about History Channel’s Live to Tell, a new series that offers warriors who’ve served on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq the opportunity to share their personal experiences of war.

Relevant to current events, history and politics courses, the program is recommended for students in 10th grade and above.

Live to Tell premieres Sunday, January 10th at 10/9c on HISTORY (channel 269 in your DIRECTV SCHOOL CHOICE channel lineup). All episodes will also be available for streaming subsequent to airing.

You can watch the series trailer, below.

And for news about other great educational programs, bookmark this site and be sure to follow DIRECTV GOES TO SCHOOL on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

Good News

  • Oct 28, 2015

Capturenc

“We are all journalists now.”

Chances are you’ve run across that statement somewhere. More and more people are saying it, because it’s true. The line has been blurred. No longer do the professionals have a monopoly on published information. Whether you’re blogging or tweeting or posting things on Facebook, you are functioning—for all practical purposes—as a journalist.

But the question is: Are you a “responsible” journalist? Is the information you are publishing true, or propaganda, or (heaven forbid) an outright lie?

It’s an important question when you consider that we are all, each of us, now living in a virtual sea of information, and information is the stuff people use to make decisions. Decisions that have consequences. Information is a powerful thing.

I believe this point is especially relevant for young people, most of whom haven’t yet compiled enough savvy to recognize that not everything they read is accurate, or even true. Moreover, young people are digital natives, more likely than any other group to both publish and receive information exclusively via the internet.

For this reason alone, I believe that media literacy and a core understanding of journalistic principles are essential to modern education. And to that end, I bring you news of a new trio of resources from PBS Learning Media designed to foster media literacy and responsible citizen journalism in students grades 9 through 12.

Presented as learning modules comprising standards-based classroom exercises and support materials for teachers, the available topics are:

Writing and Reporting/Collaborative Research
A primer on news writing and reporting.

Current Events Awareness/Media Literacy
Consuming news with a critical eye.

Persuasive Writing: Take a Stand
How to state ideas clearly and back them up with proof.

These lessons and more come your way free of charge as part of an exciting new educational effort from the Emmy-winning PBS news magazine series, NOW. We highly recommend that you check it out for yourself.

And to learn about other great free educational resources, be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

Seriously cool history

  • Dec 31, 2014

Rollins

History is discovery, as they say, and you’ll be amazed by how much there is to learn about things you already know in the engaging documentary series 10 Things You Didn’t Know About.

Airing on the History channel’s sister network H2 (channel 271 on your DIRECTV SCHOOL CHOICE channel package), the show is hosted by punk rock icon Henry Rollins (right), a challenging intellectual and longtime advocate for staying informed. His basic premise, and thus the guiding principle of the show, seems to be that there’s always more to the story than just the official story, and episodes on everything from the Gold Rush and the American Revolution to the ongoing Tesla/Edison debate make the case.

“If you want to go anywhere, you have to know where you are. In order to do that, you have to know where ‘you’ have been,” says Rollins. “Americans should really dig into their history. What some might think is new isn’t at all.”

The series is recommended for high-school history, social studies, and current events courses. History’s free Spring 2015 Idea Book includes a classroom guide designed to help you incorporate this and other shows into your curricula. NOTE: Topics vary widely, so teachers may want to preview individual episodes for educational application.

For airdates, check HS’s schedule. If you’d like to watch the show right now, full episodes available for viewing on the show’s official web site.

The series is also available for purchase from the History Shop.

For more information on great educational shows like this, be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

The 2015 C-SPAN StudentCam documentary competition is on!

  • Nov 03, 2014

studentcam

For some time now we’ve been telling you about the C-SPAN StudentCam short documentary competition—a great opportunity for civic-minded students (grades 6-12) to influence the national conversation and vie for cash prizes. Participating schools and teacher advisers are eligible for cash prizes as well.

The competition invites middle and high-school students to create 5 to 7-minute film on an issue of sociopolitical importance.

This year’s theme:

“The Three Branches and You”
Tell a story that demonstrates how a policy, law or action by either the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branch has affected you or your community.

Cash prizes totaling $100,000 will be awarded to 150 winning student filmmakers and 53 teacher advisers. The submission deadline for all videos is January 20, 2015.

Let’s face it, the two things every student has these days are 1) a video camera, and 2) an opinion. Make this a year your students will never forget by showing them the doors that can open when they use those things constructively.

Listen to what this participating teacher adviser had to say:

“All of my StudentCam participants walk a little taller, (and) they exude a poise and self-confidence that the other eighth graders (who did not participate), don’t.”  —Karen Rehder, Farragut Middle School, Knoxville, TN

And this, from a proud mom:

“This is the sort of thing that he’ll remember his whole life, of course, and it’s life-changing. You can be sure that you’ve had a formidable impact on this young man, in part because of the honor of the award, but in larger part because he experienced what it’s like to make a difference in something important.”  —Sharon Webb, Mother of 2010 StudentCam winner Matthew Shimura, Honolulu, HI

For more information, visit C-SPAN StudentCam.

And if you need more inspiration, check out 2012′s First Prize-winning film from Leo Pfeifer, a then 8th-grader from Seattle, Washington (below).

To receive more information about opportunities like this, be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

 

 

 

Got any budding journalists in your classroom? Tell them how to submit a report to CNN Student News.

  • Oct 24, 2014

studentnews1

That’s right. All they’ll need is a camera and a good story.

They might even end up on TV!

CNN’s popular iReport project invites students age 13 and older to file a news report, share their opinions, or just give a shout out to a favorite teacher. Videos can be uploaded for immediate viewing, and the best ones may even be selected to appear on CNN Student News (streaming weekdays on CNNStudentNews.com, and also available as a podcast).

It’s a great way for any young person interested in a journalism career to get some valuable experience. Not to mention exposure. A featured report on CNN Student News would look mighty impressive on a college admissions essay. So spread the word!

Check out the video below for details, and for more information visit CNN iReport.

And to receive more information about opportunities like this, be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.

 —Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

 

C-SPAN has announced the theme for its StudentCam 2015 documentary competition!

  • Jul 17, 2014

Student Cam '15

In a recent blog post  we told you about C-SPAN StudentCam, an annual documentary competition that invites middle and high-school students to create 5 to 7-minute films on an issue of sociopolitical importance.

Now it’s time to start gearing-up for the 2015 competition!

Announced recently by C-SPAN, here’s the theme:

“The Three Branches and You”
Tell a story that demonstrates how a policy, law or action by either the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branch has affected you or your community.

Cash prizes totaling $100,000 will be awarded to 150 winning student filmmakers and 53 teacher advisors, and the submission deadline for all videos is January 20, 2015.

Want to make this fall semester one your students will never forget? Listen to what the father of one previous winner had to say.

“I really just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for providing this opportunity. Our education system is focused on students achieving minimum standards, so it’s great when someone like C-SPAN comes along and encourages students to achieve their maximum potential.” Ed Shimp, father of StudentCam 2013 1st Prize winner Alan Shimp

And this, from a StudentCam teacher advisor.

“The kids loved it,” said Seann Goodman of Colorado’s Basalt High School. “For them it was about creating memorable and engaging learning experiences. We took the art of research and storytelling and applied them to 21st Century learning skills.”

For more information, visit C-SPAN StudentCam.

And if you need more inspiration, check out 2012′s First Prize-winning film from Leo Pfeifer, a then 8th-grader from Seattle, Washington (below).  —Stephen Vincent D’Emidio