When scouring the web for student resources, I was reminded that the NY Times has a huge section for students – meant to be used by teachers – to create assignments. Free online news material is everywhere. Not all of it is good.

News and information that is well-written, contains sources, and is professionally edited, can play a huge role in education for young people these days. In many cases, the significance of that role is hardly acknowledged. You might know someone who remembers channel one news shown in their classroom first thing in the morning. They brought news and commercials to classrooms in return for providing TVs to schools. That’s done.

Now you’d pretty much have to force anyone under 40 to pick up a physical newspaper. But online news abides, and most people partake of free online news material in some form: Filter bubble, reflecting bias, counter arguments, Buzzfeed, something.

But the NY Times was a stalwart of my teaching for many years. For communication, media and technology, you could not beat the freshest and newest developments or regulations or impact studies for lighting up young people’s brain cells.

So how about this? Can and will students examine NY Times articles as part of a self-directed education program? Maybe if it were attached to an incentive, a leaderboard, or a merit badge? We don’t know yet for sure, but ideas are welcome.

Check the link from the first paragraph. A big part of what we want to do on WorldlyXP is the guide students to great materials curated for learning. I know the NY Times material is excellent – but will students independently explore it without an assignment or class?

And, by the way, it says it’s free.