I've always been a big fan of using current events in the classroom. It fosters so much, those critical thinking skills we value. Particularly important now that we can wing across the globe on a dime and the world is becoming a "smaller' place.

I've created a voicethread I'd like to share. Each week, I put up 4 photos representing the weekly news. (my choice - yes teaching is for tyrants :)). Students can go there and respond. Voice their opinion.

I use voicethread for teaching English as a second language but this one applies to all sorts/levels of students. Appreciated if you drop by and "voice your opinion". Further, I'll be making a nice directory of very well done and open ended voicethreads. If you have a fav. , please list here and I'll add to and link my directory.

Thxs.

David
http://eflclassroom.ning.com


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HI David,

This will be a great thing for my students to do as they continue to visit your network. I'm wondering about experimenting with our new snowball mic, which should be able to pick up a group conversation. I'll zip on over to EFL Classroom and see what topics you've got posted for Current Events.

I notice that in my 4th/5th grade classroom the students' current events have gotten vastly richer this year, largely because the kids use computers so much of the time. When there are questions about facts or resources, someone will instantly get up a relevant website. If the website seems useful for the group to evaluate as a whole, up it comes on the smartboard. So these days in class it's not just a student presenting all alone (or in a small group), it's the student as presenter connected to the world's information resources, and it's "groupthink." What a great age to live in.

Anyhow, looking forward to more exploration of your fabulous network, current events in particular. (Any advice about the microphones?)
Connie,

That sounds like a really lively way to use current events. You could almost film something like that and make it into the Connie Weber classroom report! but yes, Web 2.0 and the "news" really go well together. I always amaze students with the simple fact that it took people in N.Y. a few days to find out that Lincoln had been killed and it took a week for the news to get to London! Now we know when Britney even takes a pee.

Microphones? Really, my only advice is whatever works. Unfortunately it is trial and error. Sometimes wireless works very well, other times not. Also you have to fool around with the settings depending on the environment. But really, these days, most microphones are good enough because the software is much "smarter". I usually use headsets but a hand held mic with a group really fosters "community" I think.

Thanks for your comments and appreciate your own classes efforts in helping me refine the network. I've given myself a year window to get things to where I want them.....slow but sure but once it is there, it is there.

David
This is one of my favorite current events sites. The New York Times puts out a photo daily along with questions. Check it out, N.
Nancy,

You are a jewel and that's a gem! What I really like, practical and easy to use for teachers but still fostering a great number of skills including higher level thinking! Plus, topical.

wonderful, I'll use and mention in my Canned Lesson of the Day tomorrow.....

David
You are welcome--on of my passion areas in using primary source documents in the classroom. We're getting ready to start a study of the Titanic using the database of passengers and crew (database currently under construction). We've also done several other projects using primary sources, our biggest one---Guardians of Freedom, we interviewed 54 WWII veterans--no better primary source than that. Keep up the good work, N.
Over the past decade the broadsheet and the tabloid have both tried to cater for the faithful UK newspaper
reader , now with the on- line news sheets - readers have the facility for slightly quicker news without that stroll to their "local" newsagent !

http://www.telegraph.co.uk
Wow, what a great idea. I have my 8th graders do one sentence summaries on current events each week, but they are getting tired of doing them. I have to admit that I am tired of them too. This would be a great option to change it up. I can post pictures to the blog and then they can respond to the picture. This would allow them to utilize all that the blog to take the discussion and their understanding deeper. We may try it today in class.
If you have younger students you might be interested in some "safe" feeds. I have to be careful that murder and mayhem don't pop up on our blog site.
Wanted to let you know that I modified this a little for the social studies classes that I teach. Yesterday, I posted 3 pictures from the Civil War on my blog. The kids were to pick one to respond to. They then responded to each other. I've used pictures in the past, but I hadn't thought to use them on the blog until I read your post. Next week, I am going to use them as a current event like you suggested. Thanks for the idea.
Here are a couple more ideas you might be interested in...Civil War Photo analysis and Classroom Activities Using Old Photos

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