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Frequently Asked Questions

  • General
    • How do the subscription programs compare?
      • NewsCurrents Read to Know NewsCurrents Sr Remember When
        Best for Group discussion Solo reading Group discussion Group discussion
        Audience grades 3-12 and beyond grade 5-8 reading level Lifelong learners Older adults
        Content Current events Current events Current events and reminiscing Reminiscing
        Stories 6-8/issue plus weekly features 6-8/issue plus weekly features 6-8/issue plus weekly features one/issue
        Activities 3-5/issue 3-5/issue 3-6/issue Suggestions
        Medium DVD or online Online DVD or online Email (PDF)
        Schedule Weekly, 34 issues/school year (calendar) Weekly, 48 issues/year (calendar) Weekly, 48 issues/year (calendar) Weekly, 48 issues/year (calendar)
  • NewsCurrents
    • How are stories selected each week?
      • The editors of NewsCurrents are careful to only choose stories that have educational significance. The first question that is asked when selecting a story is “What can I teach with this story?” Stories that have no teaching value will not be included even if they are prominent in the mainstream media. On the other hand, we go out of our way to find interesting and important stories that may not be making big headlines, but provide a great opportunity to teach something meaningful that will relate to your required curriculum.
    • Does NewsCurrents have any political bias?
      • Absolutely not. The NewsCurrents editorial team recognizes the importance of presenting bias-free information in the classroom. Controversial and political stories are written to include multiple points of view. We encourage students to think for themselves after getting relevant background information, and discussing different points of view.
    • Do you avoid controversial issues in NewsCurrents?
      • No. We feel students are capable of understanding and debating almost any topic when the information is presented to them in an objective and sensitive way. In fact, we like to include controversial issues because they encourage debate and critical thinking. Debates over gun control, affirmative action, and capital punishment, to name a few, have all appeared in NewsCurrents. However, the teacher is the final editor of the program. If you feel a story isn’t appropriate for your students, simply skip over it.
    • How much class time does NewsCurrents take?
      • This is completely at the discretion of the individual teacher. You can adapt NewsCurrents to any schedule. Most educators allow 20 to 60 minutes or one class period each week for their NewsCurrents lessons. Some teachers tell us they use it every day, and others build their entire social studies curriculum around the program.
    • What grade level is NewsCurrents written for?
      • NewsCurrents is designed to be used in grades 3 through 12. Each issue is written on three distinct vocabulary and concept levels. All three levels are contained in one teacher’s guide for maximum flexibility within a class or school. Because of the different levels, the universality of the content, and the adaptability of its discussion format, the program has also been used successfully by teachers in early primary grades as well as in adult education, in prison settings, in GED programs, and in adult literacy programs.
    • Why does NewsCurrents use still images instead of moving film footage and why is there no soundtrack?
      • Using still images is most effective for the way people learn. A still image helps to focus student attention and allows for discussion. Many of the images are maps, graphs, charts, editorial cartoons, and other teaching visuals that require more than a few seconds for viewing. By the same token, videos with soundtracks encourage passive listening as well as passive viewing. NewsCurrents is an interactive program that promotes discussion. With NewsCurrents, you and your students provide the soundtrack.
    • What do the students receive each week?
      • NewsCurrents is primarily a discussion program — students’ attention should be focused on the teaching visuals and the discussion prompted by the teacher rather than on any printed material during the lesson. However, NewsCurrents will motivate your students to follow up with news reading and watching. The NewsCurrents program also comes with reproducible activities in every issue. These can be reproduced and assigned for homework or following a lesson.
    • What is the publication schedule for NewsCurrents?
      • Weekly, 34 issues per school year. Details are available on this calendar.
  • Read to Know
    • How is Read to Know different from NewsCurrents?
      • NewsCurrents is a classroom discussion program. Read to Know covers the same basic stories as NewsCurrents in an online newsmagazine format. With Read to Know students log in, read the stories on their own, and answer self-correcting comprehension quizzes at the end of each story. Read to Know is written on one level, while NewsCurrents is written on three learning levels. Read to Know is written on a general level and is suitable for grades 5 to 8, or even high school students.
    • How is Read to Know used?
      • Read to Know stands on its own as a source of new weekly non-fiction articles. It can be assigned for in-class reading exercises, or as homework. Read to Know also works well as a supplement and reinforcement to the in-class NewsCurrents discussions.
    • What is the publication schedule for Read to Know?
      • Weekly, 48 issues per year. Details are available on this calendar.
  • NewsCurrents Sr.
    • What is the publication schedule for NewsCurrents Sr?
      • Weekly, 48 issues per year. Details are available on this calendar.
  • Now You Know
    • What is the publication schedule for Now You Know?
      • Weekly, 48 issues per year. Details are available on this calendar.
  • Using the programs online
    • How can I make the NewsCurrents Online images larger?
      • Start your browser and go to the first story that you want to present
        Maximize your browser
        Optionally, make your browser go full screen. The method to do this varies between browsers, but F11 might be the key that gets you into full screen mode and out again.
        Now click anywhere in the image to make it expand.
        When you are done with an image, click again to shrink it so you can use the navigation links to move to the next image or story.
    • I forgot my username and/or password. What should I do?
      • Click the blue LOG IN button near the upper left corner. A log in form will appear with one button labeled "I forgot". Click this button and fill in your email address that we have on record for your account. Then click Submit. You will get an automatic reply with your username and password. For security reasons, you will not receive any notification if the email address entered does not match our records. In that case, contact us.
    • Can I avoid entering the username and password?
      • Yes, there are two ways to do this.
        If your facility has a static IP address or address range (ask your IT person or teenager about this), then we can automatically log you in. Contact us with your IP address(es) and we will get you set up.
        The other solution is given in the answer to the next question (using an app instead of a browser).
    • Is there an app I can use instead of a browser?
      • Although our online programs are not available as apps, you can create a bookmark within your browser (or on your desktop or home screen) that will make it easier to launch one of the online programs. To do this, just go to the bookmark maker and follow the instructions.
  • Remember When
    • What is the publication schedule for Remember When?
      • Weekly, 48 issues per year. Details are available on this calendar.
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