Today's Tech Tuesday is simple, yet engaging. Newsmap is a free, web-tool that visually represents the top news story drawn from Google's News Aggregator. What's neat about this tool is - using its built in algorithm - it displays top headlines (and articles) from the United States OR around the world. You just pick a specific country - like Germany, Canada, India, etc. and watch the visual magic unfold. You can even choose more than one country at a time and the display will show the countries side-by-side.
For example, imagine if you and your students are studying India. You can use the tabs at the top of the Newsmap to choose "India" and see which headlines are most popular to Indians at that point in time. See how the Newsmap changed below (from the one above) when I clicked the "India" tab? By the way, the larger the text or color block the more that headline is being accessed - in this case, by people within India.
You can also use the upper right search window and type in a keyword. Here I typed in "education" (with the US tab chosen) and look at all the stories related to education (or that mention the word "education") it produced.
As you can probably tell, the stories are color coded. You can see the tiny color legend at the bottom right of the Newsmaps. The mustard color represents "national" stories. The bright green color represents "business" stories. The pink color represents "health" stories. And so on.
Another useful feature I like: If you run your mouse over the headline, each headline is hyperlinked to the actual article. You can click on it easily or students can.
I like to have Newsmap on the big screen in my classroom as students are walking into class. Not everyday, of course, but when it seems appropriate (or when I have nothing else planned as they are walking into class!). Then, students can easily see the big headlines for that day especially since most of my students do not read a newspaper. If time permits, as a class, we may choose 1-3 headlines to click on and explore.
If you have other useful ways to use Newsmap, please leave your ideas in the comments section below.