Newsmap for Tech Tuesday

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.

Enjoy,
Jen

4 comments:

  1. Professor, what an AWESOME way to get kids involved in current events. I was shocked when my students hadn't heard about the upheaval in Egypt, even though it had lasted a few weeks. Fortunately, I had designed a lesson to show some pictures and give a little background...that was enough to get them up to speed for my lesson relating potential problems with the oil of the Middle East and the unrest. Newsmap is an excellent way to get students informed and interested in the daily news. And for those that were only able to read the headlines that morning, at the end of class, we will have the ability to explore the details.

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  2. Jenna - I am so glad you like Newsmap. It has such potential in our classrooms.

    Best,
    Jen

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  3. WHOA so cool. I think my students, especially the super creative ones would LOVE the colors and organization of the headlines. My students have lately been super curious about Japan's earthquake, tsunamis and the nuclear power plants, perhaps because my parents live there, but this would be a great thing to do on Monday. My students have also been super interested in the education debate, is there a way to use it to just get stories about a topic rather than stories from a particular region?

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  4. Sara Z
    :) Hewsmap is a great way to encorporate current events into the classroom! I like that Newsmap provides visuals so students can see what is most relevant as opposed to trival news. Another feature that I liked about Newsmap is the different topic filters that one can apply. So I can look at only education topics or I can look at strictly environmental issues. This is a great tool for visual learners for it allows students to visually see the different sizes and colors of today's News topics. I think that this is especially great in Special Education classrooms is that students can have a visual. News topics do not commonly have visual components and when working with students with special needs it is important to appeal to different learning styles in fresh new ways. That is why I would be in favor of using Newsmap in all classrooms because of the numerous different filters that one can apply to relate to any subject!

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