Posts Tagged ‘Authentic learning’

CIVIX Democracy Bootcamp

I had the immense privilege to be selected to attend CIVIX’s Democracy Bootcamp this past Thursday and Friday.

If you aren’t familiar with CIVIX, they are a national registered charity that is dedicated to building the skills and habits of active and engaged citizens. They are trying to cultivate a strong and inclusive democracy where young people are ready, willing and able to participate. They do this by running many different events but Student Vote is their main one. Student Vote always occurs before the real Canadian elections. Students learn about the government, electoral process, political candidates and parties. By learning about these things, the students in turn learn about themselves by determining which party to vote for by lining up their beliefs to the parties. The students determine what is important to them, what they believe in and what they are willing to vote for. CIVIX mails schools and teachers who register everything they need to create this authentic learning experience for FREE. From the resources to help the learning take place, to the authentic voting booth, ballot boxes and ballots that their parents will use when they vote.

Voting booths and ballot box

My students casting their votes









Democracy Bootcamp is a chance for teachers to learn more about the Student Vote program, and to learn from experts about politics, political strategies, ‘fake’ news and more. We learned from several experts in their field such as: @CraigSilverman@PeterD_Adams and .

It was such a wonderful opportunity to be spoiled and filled with new teaching ideas, amazing discussion, and a new found excitement for correcting ‘fake news.’

2 years ago I participated in Student Vote with my Tech Titians. My students chose a political party that they were interested in, learned about them and presented about the parties key beliefs to the rest of the class. By learning about all the different political parties beliefs, the class had to determine who they would vote for in the Student Vote election. They were thrilled to be able to cast a vote and I know that it led to further discussion about voting and democracy at home. I would highly recommend participating in Student Vote with your class or school.


Although I always vote, I’ve never been excited about politics but this Democracy Bootcamp changed my opinion of that. It provided me with a lot of information as well and resources to help me teach my students why politics is essential to know about. I’m excited to take all this new information back to my classroom and learn more with my students.

Here are some resources to help you with Student Vote:

Register here

YouTube Videos to help you teach Student Vote

Quiz on Issues in Elections to see which party your students beliefs link up with

Kid President’s T-shirt Competition with Threadless

My class and I have been following Kid President and his inspirational videos for a couple weeks. The students have also written a post about something awesome that they are going to do for someone else, based on Kid President’s video.

When I heard about the T-shirt competition I knew we have to do it. I prepped the class by brainstorming what Kid President, since he is the judge, is all about. We also created a criteria for what makes a good t-shirt.

Unfortunately, I realized that you basically need to have taken school for Graphic Design to create this t-shirt and there was no way we could actually compete. I decided to do it anyway. The students did a rough copy of their t-shirts and then we made them in Google Drawing. This was our first time using Google Drawing and they did such a great job with it.

Kid President: I really hope you check out this post and please tweet us at @ClassCollect or email me at to let me know what you thought. The students would be THRILLED to get a response from you.

Here are their t-shirt designs: