Magazine article MultiMedia Schools

Student Making News

Magazine article MultiMedia Schools

Student Making News

Article excerpt

Project-centered learning creates the opportunity for teams of students to become active learners, to apply thinking skills to authentic problems, to manipulate symbols-data, words, and oral and visual representations-- and to author authentic portfolios reflecting their progress and accomplishments. Multiple media-voice, video, data, and text-express concepts differently and appeal to different learning styles. As the different media converge digitally, we can take advantage of their differences to enrich curriculum. Projects that allow students to work on text, television, the Internet, or audiotape reach different children in different ways and let them all contribute to the work of the team.

Project-centered learning, especially when it uses multiple media, also places great demands on the teacher. There is a paucity of quality materials, and the natural publication delay makes it more difficult for materials to be authentic and relevant. Teachers rarely have time to develop their own materials and do not have the resources to collect components.

The news represents a constant source of authentic, real-world projects that relate to the curriculum-today's news is tomorrow's textbooks and tomorrow's curriculum. News has traditionally been segmented out of the school day into "current events." By taking advantage of the natural integration of the news and the curriculum, teachers can enable students to see the contemporary relevance of historical events or scientific discoveries.

In August 1989, Ted Turner launched CNN NEWSROOM, a free, commercial-free news and features program, designed specifically for classroom use, currently airing on CNN from 4:30-5:00 a.m. EST. As CNN NEWSROOM now enters its tenth season, we have maintained our commitment to informing students and teachers and providing materials that are designed to provide a broader, international perspective and to create global citizens. News creates a real-time challenge to teachers. They need to be prepared to lead a discussion on everything from school violence to bombings in Afghanistan. While we try to give advance warning on features or "desk segments," breaking news is by its nature something for which everyone is unprepared. Turner Learning provides a daily teacher's guide, available at cnn.com/NEWSROOM, to provide specific curriculum connections and leading discussion questions. For sensitive issues, such as school violence, we take particular care in providing context and perspective. Traditionally, news in the classroom has been a passive activity for students. …

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