Listen: The Kids are Reading the News with JJ Janikis & Tami Flood of Newsela


While I was at ISTE in June, the big talking point on everyone’s minds was digital citizenship. How can we prepare our students, in a world surrounded by technology and connectivity, with access to more information than is imaginable, to support safe and responsible technology use? For some, that means getting students knowledgeable about how to discern fact from fiction, or fact from exaggeration, online, especially in hard news.

But how do you create a platform for students to read about current events, whether troubling or exciting, that is both age-appropriate and matches each students reading level? It’s a daunting task, but not one that’s being ignored. JJ Janikis (Newsela Team Lead of Educator Communities) and Tami Flood (Teacher and Newsela Certified Educator) came on the podcast to give their in-the-classroom and EdTech-provider points of view on digital citizenship, empowering teachers to take command of personalized technology, the importance of current events for a young audience, and how to “unlock the written word for everyone.” In the spirit of Newsela’s mission, the two also duke it out in 5 Word Summaries over a Starbucks Gift Card. Tami’s skilled with her appositives.

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