Preparing Students to Handle the News

Forget the world is flat. The world is snowy, as blizzards in China stranded thousands.

In an earlier post, I wrote about the power of ESPN Sports Widgets to re-shape how we access sporting news. Here’s more . . .

Check out the AOL News (beta) for a good dose of how news—as it happens— is being done today. The one common denominator you will find in the reshaping of the news industry is RSS (Really Simple Syndication) or web feeds. Mozilla Firefox, IE7, and a host of feed aggregators give flexible RSS advantages to future-ready news consumers.

Now on to the news . . .

Here are the Web 2.0 features of AOL News:

  • RSS Feeds
  • Send to Cell
  • Tag Clouds and Tag Lists
  • Drag and Drop Polls
  • Story Approval Rating
  • Share via IM or eMail
  • Bookmark in DiggIt, del. i cious, newsvine, technorati, reddit, magnolia, blinklist, furl, and netscape
  • Recent comments
  • Sphere

To see how it works, let’s analyze the story of Mitt Romney retiring his run at the presidency, updated at 6:09 EST (2/7/08).

  • The story is tagged under Elections.
  • There’s a 6-item photo gallery (hosted by compuserve) of the story.
  • There are two-user polls related to the story. By 6:36, they each had over 200,000 votes cast.

    • There is a 150-item photo gallery related to Romney. It can be viewed in slideshow or thumbnails. With one click, it can be shared via AIM or e-mail.

      • There is a 1 minute flash video clip of Romney’s announcement. The video comes with embed code, as well as link options to a variety of social networking outlets like myspace and digg.
      • There is a reader poll on the story’s value. . . and an array of bookmark options. Readers can register their comments. Less than two hours after the story was updated, over 7000 comments had been registered by readers.
      • A final neat feature is Sphere, which links to current blog articles related to the story.

      So, that’s the news in 2008. How well are we preparing students to handle it?


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