The title for this “The Best…” list might not be a great one. This is also going to be a very short list, though I’m hoping to identify additions.
(A companion post to this one that has numerous related resources is Where To Find The Most Popular News Stories On The Web)
In addition to thinking about how I’m going to help students learn to detect bias and plain falsehoods on various websites (and Langwitches has some great resources on that topic), I’ve been exploring accessible tools that students could use to gain a similar understanding of more mainstream media.
One is very new and is called Media Cloud — Visualizations. It’s probably worth reading Read Write Web’s extensive post on the site. In a nutshell, you can identify three media sources from throughout the world and then get a chart for their most frequently used words over the past ninety days or a comparative map showing the depth of coverage of different parts of the world. Both visualizations would be accessible to Intermediate English Language Learners, and the discussion potential is rich.
I posted about the second site, Know The News, last year, and will basically reprint my description here.
It’s part of an organization called Link TV. It appears to be designed to give viewers a perspective on world news that might not be typically seen in the United States, and has an impressive group of funders and Board of Directors.
What I especially like, though, are some of their accessible online student activities in their Know The News section. Not only are they accessible to Intermediate English Language Learners, but they provide opportunities for critical and “higher-order” thinking.
One is a Remixer activity where students can edit news clips of the same event from different countries or networks, add their own commentary, and post it online. Teachers need to register in order for their classes to participate. It appears to be free.
It also has a News Challenge game that can be played without registering. Two different short news clips are shown, and then questions are asked about them.
In its Watch and Rate exercise, viewers rate different clips on journalistic qualities.
ViewChange.Org has some pretty amazing short videos from around the world, and it’s also part of Link TV. This is how it describes itself:
Using the power of video to tell stories about real people and progress in global development.
Believe me, that doesn’t even begin to tell you what’s there. It’s a project of a very impressive organization called Link TV, which has been on The Best Tools To Help Develop Global Media Literacy list for quite awhile.
Euronews provides great, and short, online videos, which I’ll talk about in a minute. But first, let me tell you what I found out about the network from Wikipedia:
Euronews is a multilingual and pan-European television news channel launched on January 1, 1993 in Lyon. It covers world news from a European perspective,in many languages. In 2008 Euronews is distributed to 248 million households in 135 countries worldwide. The latest distribution report shows that Euronews is the leading international news channel in Europe. It reached more than 177 million European households by cable, satellite and terrestrial. This compared with 167 million European households for CNN International, 124 million for BBC World News and 65 million for CNBC Europe.
The site has excellent short news videos. It also has the audio transcription but, unfortunately, it’s right below the video instead of being closed-captioned. That reduces its benefit to English Language Learners.
One great feature is it’s “No Comment” section. In it, it shows videos that it believes communicates its message without any commentary. Those could be interesting for ELL’s to describe.
Because of it being able to provide a European perspective on the news, I believe it belongs on this list.
Newsy is a site that — in short videos — compares how major news events are covered by media throughout the world. In some ways, it’s similar to Link TV, which is also on the list. Newsy, though, isn’t quite as interactive, though you can leave comments if you’re registered.
The speaking is pretty fast and relatively high-level, so it’s probably only accessible to advanced English Language Learners. It does provide a transcript to the audio, but it’s not actually closed-captioned. That doesn’t make it particularly useful to ELL’s.
It’s a well done site. I’m probably going to be using it more with my International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge class than with my English Language Learners.
The Under-Told Stories Project is a partnership of Saint John’s University and the PBS News Hour, and has a video collection of international news stories. Here is how it describes itself:
The Under-Told Stories Project works to expand, sustain and improve coverage of the world outside America in broadcast, print and emerging new media outlets. Our challenge is to direct American eyes to the daily concerns of far away people who increasingly affect our lives. We hope to reawaken the generous curiosity of Americans –our students in particular– about a world we can no longer ignore.
Many teachers are familiar with the Newseum’s great resource of showing the front pages each day from newspapers around the world. However, some people (like me) might not know about their cool interactive map that lets you roll over the country and then it shows you the front page.
The Newseum has also just launched a new project — the Newseum Digital Classroom. They’re still in “closed beta,” so you have to request a registration key. Even without the key, though, you can check out a lot of their preview resources.
Newspaper Map shows you the front pages of newspapers from around the world, displayed on a Google Map. If it just stopped at that, it wouldn’t be much different from the well-known Newseum display of the same thing. But it doesn’t stop there. Unlike the Newseum, Newspaper Map lets you click on the front page to gain access to the entire newspaper. And, even better, with one quick click, you can choose the language you want the paper translated into. It’s very simple and easy to access.
This is how Worldcrunch describes itself:
Worldcrunch delivers the best global journalism previously shut off from English language readers: selecting, translating and editing content from top foreign-language outlets.
This is how preeeurop describes itself:
Presseurop.eu is a Paris-based news website publishing a daily selection of articles chosen from more than 200 international news titles, then translated into ten languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Romanian, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Polish and Czech).
Glocal collects a great deal of online news video in the United States and makes it easily searchable by topic and geography. TechCrunch has an extensive post on it. It’s sort of a one-country version of several sites I have on this list. A number of sites show news videos from around the world, and they’re useful to have students see how the same event is “played” depending upon the country where the news is being shown. Glocal can be used is a similar, though more limited, way.
I’m very interested in hearing additional suggestions of resources, so please feel free to leave them in the comments section.