CHANGEd 60-60-60: NEWS

Thinking about CHANGEd: What if we offered courses in News and Studio Hall? 60-60-60 #15 and reflecting…

When I was teaching sixth grade, I often used CNN Student News as a jumping off point for conversation and then for deep(er) examination of current events. If I were in the classroom today, I’d do things very differently because it became seriously tempting to rely solely on that site and the ten minute news clip. News time became easy time…and it shouldn’t be that.

So..what if I were teaching a class where “various points of entry for current events and modern journalism could be explored … [in a] transdisciplinary and PBL-rich” way? Then I’d be contemplating how these four things (written on a post-it note during my social studies curriculum work time earlier today) could inform my time with students.

As I think about it, I don’t think I’ve even seen a teacher shift from current events (plural) to current event (singular). It’s often such a surface-skim of events and rarely do students have the opportunity to dig deep. Just today, I’ve seen tweets, received emails, and had conversations about the Trayvon Martin case. What if every student were asked to explore one piece of “news” related to this young boy. What pieces of news would they bring in? How could a teacher leverage technology to have students collect diverse news items and reflect independently prior to the discussion in class? How would they analyze their news in the presence of twenty other unique pieces?

If a class took only these three articles, there’d be a deeper understanding and lots of room for discussion and debate than if only one student brought in one of these articles.

But what could a student or a class do with this?

Or this?

Or this?

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3 thoughts on “CHANGEd 60-60-60: NEWS

  1. Megan, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. “News” class could be a very rich and immersed experience full of opportunities to dig deep and really explore the numeracy of an event or events, the history, the politics, the economics, etc. But more than anything, I think it would be a chance to examine and explore that which makes us human – our relationships to others and the critical issues of our times…our citizenship and our caring…our crying and our celebrating. To let such news go by is a terribly missed opportunity – no, necessity!

    • Totally agree — that’s why most mornings at my school will be spent taking two hours to look at the day’s news. After everyone reads a variety of sources for 45 minutes (and they won’t all read the same thing, though they will read one article in common), each student will make a “pitch” to the rest of the group, for why we should discuss his/her article/topic. Let’s say Megan’s pitch won for Trayvon Martin as the topic du jour… We’d all read one article (maybe the Huff Post one), and then we’d discuss for 20-30 minutes. But our discussion would be about what additional information we’d need to know to have an intelligent discussion. For instance, what have been other similar instances around neighborhood watch programs? What is the history of race relations in Florida? In Orlando? In Sanford, Fla (and we’d find Sanford, Fla, using Google Maps or Google Earth, so we could better empathize). AT the end of 90 minutes, everyone would blog for half an hour. Assuming we were still interested, we would have the flexibility to further pursue the story for HW and to devote the discussion time the next morning to continuing the discussion.

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