With 2014 now behind us, it's time to embark on a new year of news! This week, we're featuring 12 news apps and sites for a range of reading levels. These great resources offer diverse perspectives on all sorts of topics. News apps and sites like these act as powerful catalysts to spark student discussion, increase classroom engagement, and provide supplemental activities for out-of-school learning.

For the science classroom, Science News for Kids and National Geographic Kids offer stunning photos and in-depth stories of Earth's peoples, wildlife, and STEM-related topics. Social studies classrooms could benefit from Newseum or YourCommonwealth, which weave together history, civics, journalism, and international events. For more mainstream news, CNN and the Huffington Post have kid-friendly versions of their sites -- CNN Student News and HuffPost Teen -- which are worth investigating. With the new year now upon us, there's no better time to get your students following the news and connecting classroom learning to the year's events.

Click Here for Our Current Events Top Picks List

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Kira D.

As Education Content Assistant for Common Sense Education, Kira supported the editorial team with a wide array of projects such as the Graphite blog, analysis of content coverage, content creation for our Top Picks, and beyond. Kira joined Common Sense with a background in education nonprofits and museums and a passion for learning. She has previously worked in administrative and executive support roles and has dabbled in communications, public relations, and graphic design. Originally from the Boston area, Kira fulfilled a lifelong dream by relocating to San Francisco and can now be found exploring the west coast by foot, kayak, and zip car.