Product Review of 270 to Win
270 to Win is an interactive map of the Electoral College and a history of presidential elections in the United States. You can review interactive maps that reflect recent presidential elections and learn how battles in the Senate and House have played out. There’s a blog, some quizzes, and an election simulator that’s connected to the most recent presidential election.
Students can create maps based on their own predictions and share them on Facebook, or they can view past election maps to see patterns and get a sense of a state’s voting history. There’s no login or saved data; you just click around the site looking at and analyzing election maps. During an actual, live presidential election, learners can watch as the electoral votes come in and learn why the number 270 is so important.
You can definitely use 270 to Win in a history or civics class to introduce learners to the Electoral College. You can project the site on a screen and guide the whole class through a state-by-state analysis of any election. You can then allow learners to explore the site on their own and draw conclusions and make predictions. The site can be especially useful and engaging in an election year.
You have to know a little about elections and how the Electoral College works to navigate the site with ease. A student who’s just beginning to learn about the U.S. government might be overwhelmed by all the options here. That said, there’s a ton of information to review. It’s presented well, although additional guidance would make this an even better place for kids to find election information. It would be best used in a high school setting, particularly during an election year.
Students can learn the difference between the electoral and popular votes and make predictions about the next election based on current and past data. If they’re already familiar with the workings of the Electoral College and the mechanisms of U.S. elections, 270 to Win can give them a better understanding of how states have historically voted over the years and how the maps have changed from election to election. A less chaotic design and more guidance for young users would make 270 to Win a great choice for election updates for all ages.
Overall User Consensus About the App
Design is heavy on red and blue; the site isn’t that sophisticated and can be tricky to explore. Election buffs may find it easy to understand 270 to Win, but novices may need some background education.
Curriculum and Instruction
Kids can take a quiz about the Electoral College (it’s not easy!), or they can watch an election simulator that changes from day to day.
There’s no help except for a map that shows various options, which is unfortunate since the site can be overwhelming. An active blog and Twitter presence are nice additions.