Students Get More News in Classroom from Internet than TV or Newspapers
A new survey by the Carnegie-Knight Task Force at Harvard University shows a strong movement in America’s classrooms toward the use of Internet-based news and away from the use of newspapers and television news, a trend that is virtually certain to continue. The study also shows that teachers, as they have moved to the Internet, have switched from using hundreds of local news outlets to making use of a small number of national ones. Internet-based news in the classroom is dominated by the websites of a few top news organizations including CNN, PBS, and The New York Times. In fact, the classroom use of non-U.S. websites, such as BBC’s, even exceeds the use of local TV or newspaper sites.
The report is based on parallel national surveys of over 1,250 social studies, civics, and government teachers in grades 5 through 12, as well as several hundred Newspaper-in-Education (NIE) program directors at daily newspapers. The survey of teachers showed that half are making greater use of news today than they were a few years ago, an increase attributable to developments outside the school such as the war on terrorism and the fighting in Iraq. For over 20 years, hundreds of large and small U.S. dailies have provided free or reduced rate copies of their newspapers for classroom use by students through the Newspapers-in-Education program.
Touted as a means of improving students’ reading, spelling, and writing skills as well as contributing to civic education, it has also been a way to encourage students to become lifelong newspaper readers. Most newspapers continue to promote hard-copy newspapers at a time when teachers and students are moving online.
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A new survey by the Carnegie-Knight Task Force at Harvard University shows a strong movement in America’s classrooms toward the use of Internet-based news and away from the use of newspapers and television news, a trend that is virtually certain to continue.