How to address violence in the news with your students.
Google News can be a great sandbox for students to learn how to navigate the news and find reliable, authoritative articles on just about any topic. Unlike other sites that cater to news literacy -- and that feature sanitized and curated feeds of evaluated content -- Google News features the good, the bad, and the ugly of online news sources. While this could steer some teachers away, it offers a good laboratory for exploring news literacy issues like bias and fact-versus-opinion. Of course, teachers will want to review and discuss these topics before sending students to the site. For instance, teachers might pair Google News with lessons on the varying reliability of sources, the authoritative (or not) voices of the writers, and assessing the importance of different topics. Teachers might also direct students to the Fact Check section, where they can make sense of the varying perspectives of the news sources. It's worth checking out the Saved feature as well. Teachers could save resources for classroom use, addressing topics connected to content or current events, and encourage students to curate their own favorites or to build source collections for research.
It's important to note that some stories may contain graphic photos or difficult 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, so some content won't be appropriate for younger kids.Continue reading Show less
Google News is a one-stop shop for headlines from all over the web, including articles, videos, analysis, and even trending topics on Twitter. The site groups stories and displays them in categories: Top Stories, U.S., World, Local, Business, Technology, Entertainment, Sports, Science, and Health. Most also have subcategories to browse, and all include content in a real-time news feed format. The Top Stories page includes extra features such as local weather, a Fact Check section, in-depth reporting, and more. Once users click a specific story, they're taken to the site where the article or video is hosted.
The "For you" category displays news based on what Google knows about users' interests and habits. This section can be somewhat influenced: Users can hide stories from specific sources, and give stories a thumbs up or thumbs down to display more or fewer stories connected to that topic.
Additionally, users can pick any topic, place, publication, search result, or individual article to save for later, all of which are saved in an easy-to-access Following section. There's also a flexible search bar where users can search by date, keyword, location, source, or other criteria. Users can easily share any single resource, topic, or search result through email, Facebook, or Twitter.
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 to cite and mine for information, or write a position or research paper -- and do it all in an authentic environment that prepares them to be news literate citizens. It's also a great way to find current events and discussion topics that are relevant to students' lives. Whether it's to support their studies, schoolwork, or personal interests, students can take some time to save their favorite topics, sources, or articles to create their own curated list of resources.
The search tools will feel familiar to anyone who uses Google's regular search features, so most teachers and students will catch on quickly. It's also great that the stories come from so many sources all over the world. Some will necessarily be of higher quality than others, but that's useful, too. In this way, Google News offers a great laboratory for news literacy learning, because students will be exposed to all kinds of sources and stories (but nothing too inappropriate for teens' sensibilities).
Each student's "For you" section will be different, since it's based on user interests and online behavior. Students can take the time to influence the feed to fine-tune what's included. The Following section is a snap to use for saving content or topics to reference later. Teachers might also use this process to dig into how platforms personalize content based on students' data. In addition to helping students see how this data is used, teachers could show students how to restrict their settings to be as private as possible.
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.