Monday, February 15, 2016

The Electoral College Explained

We're choosing a new President of the United States this year. We're still in the primary and caucus phase of picking candidates. Once that's done we'll be moving toward the general election in the fall. But unlike other elections in which popular vote decides the winner, the president is chosen based on the outcome of the Electoral College votes. It's a bit of a complicated process. Both of the videos embedded below do a good job of succinctly explaining how the Electoral College works.

How the Electoral College Works, embedded below, gives a nice overview of the Electoral College. The video isn't perfect, I wish the producer had included that the number of Electoral votes a state receives is tied to the number of Senators and Representative it has. Instead the video simply stated that the number of Electoral votes is tied to population. Overall, it's not a bad summary of the Electoral College.

Another good video overview of the Electoral College can be found in Common Craft's Electing a US President in Plain English. The video can be viewed on YouTube, but cannot be embedded unless you're a subscriber to Common Craft's service. (Disclosure: I have an in-kind relationship with Common Craft).

The Clear Alternative to Evernote Clearly

Clearly was a popular Chrome extension that allowed you to view and save web pages without all of the sidebar and header content that appears on most websites. Evernote ended support for Clearly earlier this year. I've had a few people ask me for alternative options. The easiest alternative is to use the Evernote web clipper and choose "simplified article" when you want to save a page without saving the sidebar content. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how this works.

How to Create Video-based Quizzes on Blubbr

Blubbr is a neat quiz creation service that enables you to create interactive quizzes that are based on YouTube clips. Your quizzes can be about anything of your choosing. The structure of the quizzes has a viewer watch a short clip then answer a multiple choice question about the clip. Viewers know right away if they chose the correct answer or not. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use Blubbr to create a video-based quiz.