The Internet has made news, readily available, virtually instantaneous, and interactive. On the plus side, news via the web can provide global perspective. However, on the negative side, in the rush to be first with a breaking story, there are frequently inaccuracies.
Web connected classrooms provide opportunities for students and teachers to read original material, discuss current events, and analyze multiple perspectives in search of truth. There are numerous ways in which readers can access news. Here are five free apps that can bring a steady stream of news, and information to the connected learner.
The CNN App provides more than just current headlines. Learners can follow stories as they develop, and receive notifications of breaking news. Live video coverage, and recorded shows are unique features of this app. Learners can make news more interactive and engaging by sharing and commenting on the coverage. Reader lists can be customized by categories such as; world news, politics, Tech, money. health, and travel.
Flipboard allows the creation of attractive, digital magazines, also called eZines, based upon social subscriptions and personal interest. Curated material can be collected collaboratively, and eZines can be shared to social media and added as subscriptions by readers. By “liking” stories, Flipboard intuitively populates collections of stories based on the reader’s preferences. Flipboard’s unique feature is the capability to flip virtually anything on the web into an eZine. Classroom blogs come to life for authentic audiences when shared to a Flipboard eZine.
News-360 like Flipboard, provides news stories in an eZine format. Stories are easily shared to social media, and are collected by the taste of the reader. News-360 is an interesting choice for classroom use because the app not only provides related stories, but it also provides an extensive list of articles on the same subject that are auto-curated from a worldwide collection. This opens the possibility for the learner to compare multiple perspectives on the same story, and analyze the accuracy of the reported information.
YouTube provides more than just entertainment. There is a wealth of news available in video format. Virtually anything that you can view on television is available on YouTube. Video in YouTube is becoming more interactive with built in links to customized story lines. Learners can subscribe to channels, such as news, education, and travel. With hundreds of hours of video being uploaded every minute, YouTube becomes another source of instant information for the learner.
TuneIn Radio, permits the creation of an auditory learning experience that can be customized to the learner’s preferences and needs. In addition to live listening, stations, regularly scheduled radio shows, and podcasts can be subscribed to by the listener. As with YouTube, there is a wealth of information, and a rich variety of perspective that can be found on the radio. TuneIn Radio let’s the user choose from related stations, track recent channels, and share favorites to social media. Listening while working makes TuneIn Radio a favorite for multi-tasking learners.
There are certainly many other apps that can provide news and information. These five apps offer unique features, support a variety of learning styles, and can be used on any web connected device. They also provide attractive interfaces that are easy to navigate and personalize.
What is your favorite app for news and information? How could you use social readers, and news apps to support learning in the classroom? Turn this post into a conversation by sharing your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section.
App images courtesy of Google Play.