The following review appeared in password-protected content on the School Library Connection.
Educators and learners are able to skip the line and interact with engaging historical and contemporary artifacts and resources virtually through NewseumED. Focused on media literacy, NewseumED is the free educational site for the physical Newseum located in Washington, D.C. The resources provided are intended to help young learners connect historical issues to a contemporary context and analyze how they have worked to shape where we are today and where we might go tomorrow.
The site has a focus on the First Amendment and is tasked with helping youth to build important media and information literacy skills. The site is big on primary resources and includes a wide variety of digital items like photographs, news articles, lesson plans, videos, and even social media content by original creators. The latter is a unique but important inclusion, as social media is both heavily created and consumed by youth. Additionally, a vast supply of news is communicated and absorbed through this medium. Curated collections of Newseum resources address specific topic areas like Civil Rights, the Cold War, and religious liberty, while also including more skills-based lessons like recognizing bias, engaging in critical debates, and reliable fact-finding. Resources and lesson plans are aligned to many different standards from domestic and global groups, including the Common Core Standards, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), Center for Civic Education, National Center for History in Schools, and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and National Center for History in the Schools.
The site is easy to navigate and visually engaging, with a nice balance between colors, photographs, and white space. Resources are searchable by keyword, state, type of tool, specific topics, grade level, date range, and important people. While the site allows searches for kindergarten through college and beyond, a search of elementary-level topics brings up few resources, potentially making this a more useful resource for middle to secondary students given the scope of the media literacy curriculum and topics on the site. The site also offers a range of virtual and face-to-face classes and training opportunities for young learners and educators, both of whom can utilize the NewseumED site. Users must create an account to access the resources and book classes, but there are no features associated with having an account that would enable school librarians to curate their own resource lists and customize learning. NewseumEd is an important tool for the youth of today as they are constantly inundated with virtually-mediated messages and information. They need to develop the skills to navigate this content, ask questions, and make decisions, all of which is the primary mission of NewseumED.
Reviewer: Kasey Garrison
Grade (as stated by Reviewer/SLC): 6-12
Review Date: May 1, 2019