Newsworthy! Learning as Reporters & Journalists

Included in the Digital Ideas Advent Calendar with a new idea each day!

Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light. – Joseph Pulitzer

The best kind of learning motivates you to question, explore, make it your own, then pass it on. I’m not interested in my students coming to specific conclusions or answers. I’m more interested in them taking what they learn and applying it to their lives. This way I know they will continue using that knowledge. That’s why I love when teachers get students to act as reporters and regularly produce podcasts, vodcasts, ezines, digital newspapers, or radio shows. Every subject has their own news sites, journals, or podcasts with examples students can replicate. Students learn to write for an audience and the responsibility of providing accurate and succinct information. In my book, Learning to Go, I include a lesson plan, rubric, script template, and handouts for reporting the news. Feel free to download the slide presentation below with ideas, examples, resources, and web tools. Keep scrolling to find the bookmarks with free apps, tools, and ideas.

Important Points

  • You can decide to produce the news in whichever digital form you find easiest and you can also choose to publish this weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
  • Depending on the format, the process may include giving students time to collaborate, designate roles and responsibilities (taking photos, proofing, etc.), brainstorm, research, script and plan it if aired, record it, edit, and publish.
  • I find it helpful to have students evaluate newscasts from famous broadcasters such as Walter Cronkite or Barbara Walters. Find audio clips and bios of famous broadcasters here,
  • Teach students how to conduct digital research, which involves social bookmarking, curation, citing resources,  note-taking, etc. You’ll find this visual map of the process helpful,
  • I recommend these tools for digital research- Google Drive, Evernote,, PearlTrees, Storify, Educlipper, and Diigo.
  • is a great site for teaching students how to interview.

Challenge: Get students to report the news around them regularly or as a project for a unit.

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics. Subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!


Included in the Digital Ideas Advent Calendar! Scroll the image below and each day discover free web tools, apps, and resources.

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and on her blog,, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at

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