Friday, November 23, 2007

Better Current Events Assignments?

You all remember "current events" assignments, right? Dig through your dad's day-old paper, find an article that sounds interesting, read it, and write a summary on it. We've all done 'em, and most of us complained about them every time. We may have asked, "What's the point? We all know how to read the newspaper." We may have wondered if the process of searching was of any importance to the assignment.
Today, after reading Ionut Alex Chitu's Google Operating System blog, I found some new ways to use the Google News.
My favorite is the NewsMap visualization.
Or the Google News Cloud.
Imagine pointing students to the NewsMap with some specific topics (health, for example), and have them find an article, print it (or better yet, link to it and cite it correctly in their summary), and write up the current event either on paper, (or better yet, in Google Docs or a Blog post).
I'd love to keep NewsMap up all day, just to see what shows up in the feed. I need to find a way to incorporate more of these cool things into my orchestra program, maybe something like this article, perhaps?

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