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KQED: The Lowdown

Top-notch news resources now a bit harder to find

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Editorial review by Common Sense Education

Community rating

Based on 3 reviews

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Expert evaluation by Common Sense



Subjects & Skills

Communication & Collaboration, Critical Thinking, English Language Arts, Social Studies

Great for

Evaluating Media

Price: Free
Platforms: Web

How Can I Teach with This Tool?

The Lowdown, part of KQED News, is a trustworthy resource for teachers looking to integrate current events into their curriculum. The site offers videos, visualizations, and interactives -- alongside news stories -- to help students explore and understand complex current events. What's more, most of the content here helps students make important connections between the past and their world today. While it's not as easy as it used to be to navigate (e.g., they ditched a menu for a scrollable list of stories), teachers who take the time to hunt down something relevant -- or just rely on the most current stories -- will be able to deepen students' understanding of social studies or ELA topics.

For example, teachers could use the Minimum Wage Interactive Explainer during a unit on the Depression. The Words of Warcraft piece would be valuable to enhance any discussion of rhetorical devices in persuasive speeches. Although the resources vary from topic to topic, many are Common Core aligned and include blog articles, an educator guide or discussion questions, and some type of multimedia resource.


  • Minimum Wage Blues
  • Gun Control
  • Immigration Reform
  • The Facebook Effect

Editor's note: There have been syndication partnerships between the Common Sense Education blog and KQED's The Lowdown. However, Common Sense Education's reviews maintain editorial integrity and independence.

Community Rating

Great way to incorporate news & current events into the ESL classroom. My students typically know very little of US current events, and this website has proven to be useful for doing just that in a more interactive way. The multimedia addition is great!

I think that this resource is excellent, so I really can't think of anything negative. My only suggestion is for more resources, but I suppose that is selfish.

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