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Pros: High-quality lessons require very little prep. Youth-hosted news.
Cons: Content comes out only twice a month. Reading level is often too high.
Bottom Line: The combo of newscasts, articles, and media content offers a deep news literacy approach, but it's lacking supports.
How Can I Teach with This Tool?
Every two weeks, NexGen News produces several video news stories related to current events. Each news story is supported by an article on the same topic, plus a detailed lesson plan (with slide deck) that has suggested classroom activities, discussion questions, and extensions. To use NexGen News, teachers can connect students to their account and then assign videos and articles. If teachers have a Pro account, they can also assign built-in quizzes and written-response questions. If students don't have their own devices, teachers can show the video on the classroom screen and print copies of the article for independent reading.
The lessons are released only once every two weeks, but they're so in-depth you could easily spread learning out over the course of two weeks. The detailed lesson plans for each news topic offer differentiation options for ELLs and gifted students, plus extension activities in art, tech, and writing. Teachers create the NexGen News content and lesson materials, and they use common learning frameworks and techniques to do so. This means NexGen News feels more like borrowing lesson plans from the best teacher in your school and less like the corporate-created content available from mainstream edtech companies.
One caveat: NexGen News suggests using the platform for grades 3–8, but we feel it's best suited to middle school. Resources could be used for elementary school, but teachers will need to adapt content for younger students. For instance, articles are often at a much higher reading level than the target grades. These articles would need to be adapted since there aren't adjustable reading levels or text-to-speech features. Teachers might pair reading with assistive tech to give students more options.