Today at Vic High I had the opportunity to present my inquiry project on teaching current Events in the Social Studies classroom. I had some great conversations with both students and teachers about what is covered and what maybe should be covered in classrooms. A number of them came up with some events and issues that I wasn’t familiar with myself.
With the idea of multiliteracies in mind, this lead me to think about where educators and students are getting their news. Physical paper newspapers now come second to a number of other modes of presenting news including websites, television, and radio. In terms of more in depth news coverage, there are documentaries and podcasts on almost anything you can think of. The way information spreads in a world where there are a seemingly infinite number of news sources has always fascinated me, but it was interesting to consider how an increasing number of not only news agencies but news modes changes things. Major news outlets have television stations, publish articles online, and make content for their own apps and other social media apps.
In particular, I’ve been surprised to see major news sources like CBC , NBC, and CNN making content specifically for Snapchat. (Pretty much every major outlet is engaging with consumers this way—here’s a list of some of them: https://mediablog.prnewswire.com/2018/07/26/11-news-agencies-to-follow-on-snapchat/). These Snapchat articles are the ultimate form of multimodal expression, using text, music, other audio, video, and interactive components.This is such an engaging and concise way to consume content, but complex stories are condensed into soundbites. In addition, it can be hard to follow up and learn more about these news stories since there are no links that connect you to information outside the app.
Ultimately, I just ended up with more questions than answers. Is there a “better” or “best” way to consume news? Is any news mode inherently more reliable than others? Is any news mode inherently better suited to going more in depth? What works best for students?