Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
This site is a great space for learning how to navigate the news and find reliable, authoritative news stories, and it's a great way to help students learn how to navigate the good, the bad, and the ugly of online news sources. News, bias, and fact-versus-opinion are all good topics to review and discuss before sending students to the site. Teachers should also focus on the reliability of the sources, the authoritative voices of the writers, and the usefulness of the articles so their words can be trusted. This also goes for the videos that may pop up on the site. Ask students, are those videos authoritative, reliable, and useful? Lastly, it's important to note that some stories may contain graphic photos or hot topics that some younger students may not feel comfortable with. Use extra caution when sending younger students here; after all, this is a site that aggregates news stories from all over the Web.Continue reading Show less
Google News is a one-stop shop for headlines from all over the Web. The site groups stories and displays them in categories such as top stories, world news, technology news, and many more. One of the standout features is the "personalize" button, which lets users personalize Google News depending on the types of stories you’d like to view, which sources you favor, and which topics you'd like to make a priority (such as White House news or news for your city). The site also features several options for adjusting how headlines and stories are displayed on-screen. Users can always click on a headline and then see other stories and videos about that topic, and they can also view real-time coverage of the topic. Once users click a specific story, they're taken to the site where the article or video is posted.
One important feature for educators and students is the research feature. In the search bar, users can click on the downward arrow to reveal a drop-down menu with Google search tool features. Then users can customize the search with specific key words, specific dates and locations, or certain sources.
Google News is meant for adult consumers, but it's easily usable in the classroom. It's perfect for high school students who need to research a topic, find reliable sources and cite them, and write a position or research paper. It’s also a great way to find current events and discuss topics that are relevant to students' lives. Students could take some time to personalize the site toward their news preferences and could change these preferences based on what they're studying.
The research feature is especially useful for students, and it works just like Google search tools, so most users will catch on quickly. It's also great that the stories come from so many sources: Some will necessarily be of higher quality than others, but that's useful, too: With some cautious supervision from teachers, this is a great tool for seeking, reading, and evaluating stories from multiple sources.
Key Standards Supported
Reading Informational Text
Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims.
Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.
Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced.
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.
Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.
Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness or beauty of the text.