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.

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