Tech Tuesday: The Learning Network @ NYTimes

This week, I’m sharing a resource that works on iPads/tablets, computers, phones – anything that can reach the internet.  The Learning Network from the New York Times is a teacher and student-centered “blog” for use in the classroom.  This website is absolutely awesome!  It is a comprehensive resource for including the news and digital learning in your classroom.

The blog has many regular features alongside unique daily posts. Daily, the blog features 6 Qs About the NewsWord of the Day, and Test Yourself.  There are other regular features that occur less often.  All of them are thought-provoking and relevant to the real-world and our classrooms.

One of my favorites is What’s Going On in This Picture?.  Every Monday, TLN posts a picture – usually one that provokes strong reactions from students.  Students are encouraged to participate in the comment section to offer what they think.  On Tuesday, it is revealed what is actually happening in the photo.  I love how this promotes participation, writing, AND digital citizenship.  Digital citizenship is something isn’t at the top of our to-teach lists, but it should be.  Almost every student uses the Internet at home – we need to give them the skills to do so safely, respectfully, and productively.  TLN gives students a platform for developing their online personas.

Another favorite feature is Student Opinion, a section that poses a question, gives background information, and invites students to respond.  These questions are relevant to students’ lives – like What Crazy Adventure Would You Want to Take?  These are questions that students want to answer!

TLN recommends users be 13+ years.  However, I think that TLN could be incorporated into fourth and fifth grade for sure – and maybe even third.  There is some sensitive content, but nothing inappropriate.  I invite you to peruse the site and make a judgment about your classroom.  I think some students could go on this website on their own, while other classrooms might benefit from a teacher-guided visit with the whole class.

I could go on and on about different things I love about TLN, but you should check it out yourself!

Overall, I give it a 5/5.

PS. This resource is entirely free (unlike the NYTimes regular site)!

Photocred: Wikimedia Commons

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