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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Friday, July 31, 2009

How To: Make Current Events A Primary Part of Class

As I am preparing for the upcoming school year, I wanted to use current events from the countries/regions we are studying to be a part of class; either as starters, discussion questions, debates, or report topics.

I have tried to find easy ways to do this several different ways in the past, but I didn't like the look or feel of what I ended up with.  I knew I wanted RSS feeds, and I wanted everything on a single web page (for easy viewing, and to project on the board in my classroom).

If you would like the current events feed for yourself, here it is:


I finally found a way to make this work like I want it to.  Google - who else?

Here's what I did:

  1. You have to have an iGoogle account.
  2. I created a new tab (something I forgot about being able to do - Use it or Lose it syndrome).
    1. Next to the HOME link, there is a drop down menu that says ADD A TAB.
    2. Give the new tab a name - Mine is "World News."
    3. Go to this tab (blank page).
  3. In the upper left corner of the iGoogle page there is a drop down menu where I selected More > Even More.
  4. On the Even More page, I chose Alerts.
  5. In the Create A Google Alert box...
    1. Type in the search term
    2. Choose the Type (News, Comprehensive, Blog, etc.) - I chose News.
    3. In the 4th drop-down area you can have the information emailed to your Gmail account OR...CHOOSE FEED.  Choose Feed here.
    4. Click Create Alert button.
  6. The next page gives a choice of of viewing it in your Google Reader or add to iGoogle.  Add to iGoogle, and it will create a box with the three most recent items.
Very clean-looking page.  A very handy tool, as long as your school district does not block your ability to create an iGoogle page (ours used to).

I plan to use this a starters, fillers, idea generators, and to connect real-world events to the mandated curriculum, so the mandated curriculum doesn't seem so disengaging.

Posted via email from rrmurry's posterous


At 1:51 PM, Blogger Cerese Godfrey said...

This is a great reminder. Thanks for the step by step how to. I plan on adding to iGoogle. You have always been full of good ideas.


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