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TODD’S TECH TUESDAY: Get ready, get set, Google it

May 1, 2012

When I studied current events in my classroom, we read out of our Weekly Readers, discussed the articles, and answered comprehension questions on the back page. Things have changed a bit since those days. Now students can study current events from many different angles and perspectives by exploring websites, blogs, and tweets.

According to Nathan Barber at The Next Generation of Educational Leadership, there is no better way to explore current events than to ask all learners to explore the same issue simultaneously using Google searches and whole-class discussion. He suggests having learners search the same term (e.g., debt ceiling) at the same time, allow them to read a bit on their own, and bring them back together to compare information and discuss themes, controversies, and contrasting viewpoints.

Think about the ways you can incorporate this into a science lesson (e..g, bird flu) or math class (e.g., Buffet rule). This is a such an ideal activity for the diverse and differentiated classroom since students get opportunities to search for articles, read the news, and participate in a discussion. It also allows them to demonstrate different strengths, such as research, debate, note-taking, and so on. Further, every learner can read content at his or her own level, making personalization of content easy to achieve with almost no planning at all.

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