Common Sense Review
Updated November 2015

Google News

Breaking stories, customizable home page take students inside the news
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Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 4
  • Google News displays up-to-the-minute news stories as they trend across the Web.
  • Get real-time coverage of news with videos and news stories.
  • Customize your news experience based on your preferences.
  • An example sports page displays stories and search options.
  • Google technology stories appear here in a "headlines" format.
Explore headline news stories and videos, conduct research, and customize your news page for a personalized online newspaper.
The site is mostly geared toward adults, so younger students may need guidance, and teachers may want to choose stories ahead of time.
Bottom Line
Although meant for an adult audience, it’s a fantastic tool to explore news stories and research current events.
Stephanie Trautman
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

With trending stories at the forefront of the site, students can explore headlines and further engage via video news stories, articles, and real-time coverage.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Students can use Google News for research and fact finding. They can customize it to suit their interests and help them delve more deeply into the things that interest them most.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

Straightforward navigation and flexible search tools make this a go-to news source. The excellent help pages answer most questions.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

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.

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What's It Like?

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. 

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Is It Good For Learning?

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.

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