Be Relevant – Teach Current Events!

K-12 education has an ongoing challenge to remain relevant (current event teaching)As a public institution, shifting practice and policies is a slow process often resulting in technological and cultural lagIt does not feel good to admit that, but consider these two items:   

  • Exhibit A – technology devices and bandwidth in schools compared to the private sector  
  • Exhibit B – public school desegregation largely began in earnest the 1960s or later.  The Congress of Industrial Organizations (1936), professional baseball (1947) and US military (1948) all opposed segregation decades earlier. 

With this in mind, it is easy to understand why people often refer to life outside of school as “the real world.”   But it need not be that way.  

teaching with the news

Fortunately, prioritizing relevance when it comes to student learning happens at the classroom levelAnd one of the best ways to do that is by teaching current eventsTo be clear, I mean teach current events as part of the core curriculum, not as a time filler or add on “if we have time.”  Committing to relevancy through current events requires teachers to make intentional instructional and organizational shiftsFacilitating those shifts so that it is an easy decision for teachers to make is where you come in. Below are six ways you can highlight how your product supports the teaching of current events. 

 

  1. Content Connections: Some courses, like social studies and science, tend to have clearer connections between their content and what is going on in the worldContrastingly, math, world languages, and literature teachers may not see the possibilities as easilyProviding ways to use current events in all classes is valuable. 
  1. Perspectives: Current events can be controversial and are certainly open to interpretation. Providing a voice about issues that are from across the political spectrum, representative of diverse groups, and approaching the topic with different lenses removes the burden of locating these from teachers. 
  1. Accessibility: Be sure to consider how students can access information about current eventsFor example, can the text be translated and have a read-aloud featureCan the reading level be adjustedAre there options for students to engage with current events through visuals, videos, data sets, and animation? The greater the methods of accessibility the more relevant your resource is. 
  1. Class IntegrationHaving resources available is a major convenienceKnowing how to use resources is another skillsetHaving current events options that are designed for class bell ringers, exit tickets, geared to student reflection, or are intended for “deep dives” offer flexibility for teachers to elevate the relevance of their class.  
  1. Guest SpeakersOne way to engage with current events is with people who can engage with your students. Having a pool of experts who are available to be live guest speakers in a classroom is a feature often overlookedIf your resource provides this option, you will stand out – just be sure that they like working with kids! 
  1. Taking Action Learning about current events in school is a reasonable expectation. Structuring ways that students can act regarding contemporary issues is a necessityThis feature brings the “real world” back into schoolMany people will conclude that this must be a form of activism but need not be. Options that vary in the type, context, and purpose of the action should be provided. 

 

It is often said that the teacher is the most crucial factor regarding a students’ educational experienceThis claim is trueThe resources that teachers have access to that support their craft are a close second. Integrating current events to your updated or new services and resources is essential. Doing so makes you more relevant too 

 

Ready to reach out to your target group of educators today? Reach out!

«
»