October 6 is National News Engagement Day, a day when “everyone is encouraged to read, watch, like, tweet, post, text, email, listen to, or comment on news.”
News and the media is a vital part of social studies education today, which is why the Choices Program does our best to make current affairs content available for teachers to use in their classrooms. Our Current Issues Series deals with some of the most important challenges facing the world today, encouraging students to consider the decisions made by policy makers and citizens in facing a changing future. We also produce Teaching with the News lessons to address situations as we see them come into the focus of the media.
For the week of National News Engagement Day, some of the Choices staff shares the news-related resources they use to inform and inspire their work.
MacKenzie Abernethy, Program Associate, Choices Writing Team
My recommendation for a news-related resource: Seed Magazine
What it is: Seed is an online science magazine published by Seed Media Group that connects science, culture, and current events. Search the expansive archives by categories including globally impacting issues on the World page (or under subtopics such as Politics, Development, and the Environment.) Readers may also explore specific topics on the hashtag sidebar, like Education.
Why I like it and think you might find it interesting:
- Seed promotes a cross-disciplinary approach to current challenges. CEO of Seed Scientific and creator of Seed, Adam Bly (Canadian) considers science a “creative human enterprise.” His leadership drives Seed to connect readers across disciplines of the arts, politics, etc., by spotlighting contributions of other fields and showing the widespread applications of science.
“It’s about applying neuroscience to economics, math to global health, virology to manufacturing, and genetics to law… It’s about experimenting all the way to understanding. It’s about changing your mind with new evidence – and getting as close to truth as humanly possible. Getting 7 billion people to think scientifically has never been a small mission. And it has never been more important.” – Seed Media Group
- Seed offers free tools for the classroom. Alongside thought provoking, discussion generating articles, the magazine offers downloadable “cribsheets” that help teachers explain scientific topics such as climate change and solar power.
- Seed empowers readers. The magazine often encourages action and provides the tools to contribute to the conversation on environmental policy. For example, this article asks readers to email government and business officials about biodiversity, climate change and water access. Seed Media Group says that it takes scientific thinking to parliaments, courtrooms, hospitals, construction sites, boardrooms around the world – to catalyze scientific thinking at scale.
Choices Program resource:
First Edition. January 2015
Recommended with the National Science Teachers Association’s “highest praise. . . This latest curriculum offering from Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies is one of the best introductions to teaching about climate change that is currently available on the market.”
Bonus: Share Neil Degrasse Tyson’s lifelong love for astrophysics with students via this interactive tour of his personal space.