The 2020–21 school year is here. As schools refine their back-to-school logistics, one thing is clear: Flexible modes of learning are more important than ever.
News-O-Matic remains committed to helping students and teachers navigate this unprecedented back-to-school season, no matter where instruction takes place. That’s why we are excited to introduce some new features and updates to further enhance the learning experience, whether it takes place in the classroom or behind a computer screen. Here are a few of the changes you will see in the “new” News-O-Matic!
Launch of News-O-Matic Archives
Users now have access to the full archive of News-O-Matic’s articles published since its inception. That's more than 10,000 stories about nonfiction topics that appeal to readers of all interests — including animals, arts, fashion, football, and space science. As with our daily editions, the articles will be available in four languages (English, Spanish, French, and Arabic) and at three different reading levels. They will also be read out loud in all levels and languages so students can listen along. To access the archives, you can click on the search bar in the web or mobile app, then search for a story by category and keyword.
Ability to Assign Articles Through Unique URLs
The introduction of unique URLs for News-O-Matic articles (by reading level and language) enables teachers to more easily assign articles to their students. Now, teachers can post links to specific articles on the in-platform Class Chat or on learning management systems such as Google Classroom. Teachers can access the unique URL for a News-O-Matic article by searching for a story in the archives, clicking on “share article,” and copying the URL that appears in the pop-up.
Launch of News-O-Matic SEL
It’s been a difficult year. Social and emotional learning will be more important than ever. That’s why News-O-Matic is publishing a 21-part series related to the five core competencies of SEL. Developed based on interviews and insights from CASEL and other SEL experts, the series aims to help students deal with difficult emotions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and a challenging back-to-school season. The series will remain available through the News-O-Matic archives.
More Lesson Planning Resources
Even though no one can predict the current events that will transpire on a given day, News-O-Matic is committed to helping teachers plan their instruction further in advance. For our subscribers, News-O-Matic will share a monthly "look ahead" with a sneak peek at upcoming stories. News-O-Matic will also introduce more lesson plans, activity ideas, and other learning resources for our subscribers to use in conjunction with News-O-Matic stories. Visit our lesson plans page for some sample resources.
Preparing for the New School Year
Even though this academic year will be unlike any before, News-O-Matic is dedicated to keeping students immersed in reading and learning. As we have done since our founding, every weekday News-O-Matic will publish an entirely new edition of news stories for young readers. With leveled texts from 400L–1000L, students of all abilities will have the opportunity to understand their world — and develop their nonfiction literacy skills — on a daily basis. Students can access articles from home or school, ensuring continuity of access no matter where instruction takes place.
If you are interested in implementing News-O-Matic in your school for the 2020-2021 school year, reach out to us or request a quote.