Polisci Lounge

What we're talking about in PoliSci

Help Us Save Bad Romance

Attention Soomo Video Fans: We Need Your Help!  

Sony/ATV is requiring Soomo to take down our educational parody video Bad Romance: Women's Suffrage unless Sony can monetize it with an advertisement. As part of their copyright claims process, YouTube recently allowed Sony to place an ad on our video, and in an effort to defend the video and remove the ad, we’ve repeatedly appealed this claim on the basis of fair use provisions for parody works. 

The parody video, with over 3 million views and an Emmy win in 2012 for Best Instructional Content, receives fan mail weekly and has inspired thousands of students to learn about how women got the vote. Since its release in 2012, Soomo has made the video available on YouTube for free, without ads, in hopes that teachers across America could engage students with the story of the women's suffrage movement and the passage of the 19th amendment. Help amplify our voice so that Sony/ATV sees the value in preserving this educational resource. 

If you think this video should remain in place and ad-free, tweet @SonyAtvpubuk and let them know why you think they should #SaveBadRomance.

> Continue

Constitution Day is Upon Us!

September 17 is National Constitution Day and we are getting excited! So, in preparation, we've gathered just a few of our favorite Constitution-based resources to commemorate the big day. 

We posted about this resource a few years back and are still huge fans of it: The Heritage Foundation's Guide to the Constitution . Use your mouse to roll over the text, and you'll see notes pop up that identify sections or phrases according to the topic covered. Need to send your students to find where the Electoral College is mentioned in the Constitution? Just tell them to click on the "Executive" article on the left side and then mouse over the text until they spot "Electoral College." Simple.

We're also huge fans of The Constitution Center...

> Continue

What's 'App'ening!


Now students can take Soomo with them wherever they go! Our mobile app has been released for both Android and iOS. The Soomo app allows users to read and complete work in their webtexts either online or offline—and will sync answers automatically as soon as Internet access becomes available. Students can get started by clicking the Get the App button on the Tools menu in any webtext, where they’ll find instructions on how to pair a mobile device.  To learn more about how it works, visit out Mobile Support FAQ page. 

> Continue

Re-engineering the First Year for Student Success

Soomo Learning has proposed a panel at SXSWedu to discuss how learning science and design thinking can improve graduation rates. Community support factors heavily into panel selection. And we need your help

The panel features Bror Saxberg, Chief Learning Officer from Kaplan; Laura Malcolm, VP of Product Management for Civitas Learning; Timothy M. Renick, VP for Enrollment and Student Success and Vice Provost at Georgia State University; and David Lindrum, Founder and Instructional Designer at Soomo Learning. Vote here by September 4th!

> Continue

Same-Sex Marriage Timelines

With the recent SCOTUS ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, I've been keeping my eye out for new resources to use when teaching about issues in American Government through the case of same-sex marriage. Pew Research Center's State by State Interactive Timeline does a nice job of efficiently capturing the issue's history, showing changes in policies state by state, over the last 20 years. It serves as a nice primer for discussion of the impact of the SCOTUS ruling on states.

Continue to the full post for more resources.

> Continue

Survey Says


As we mentioned earlier in April, we conducted our spring student survey and asked students about their experiences using Soomo's webtext, Central Ideas in American Government . Students who completed the survey were automatically entered in a drawing for an iPad! We stick by our word, and this semester's winner was a student at Wells College in New York, whose survey comment read, 

"This webtext has been amazing. Clear information, easy navigating and interesting assignments."
> Continue

Presidential Viability of Superheroes

superheroIn Soomo's American government webtext, Central Ideas in American Government , there is a poll in the presidency chapter that asks students, "Which superhero do you think would make the best president?"  The options students select from include:  Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, and the Incredible Hulk. 

Recently, a student emailed us to let us know that actually, only one of the superheroes listed could legally become president. 

Continue to the full post for his explanation. 

> Continue