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The Speed of News

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Students can describe and employ a wide range of communication tools and explain how the mode of communication influences the information we share.

This unit introduces students to the ways evolving technology has shaped news and information over time. It includes pre- and post-visit activities designed to bracket the Speed of News EDClass, plus a class-specific gallery guide. (The activities can also be done independent of a visit to the Newseum.) Through these experiences, students will try first-hand some of the many ways information travels and reflect on how different forms of communication – and their corresponding speeds – can shape our understanding of the world around us.

OBJECTIVE: Students can describe and employ a wide range of communication tools and explain how the mode of communication influences the information we share.

TARGET AUDIENCE: Elementary school

“It is such a wonderful museum experience for the children linking science and technology to the news of the day — past and present.” — Christine Calabro, teacher, St. John the Evangelist School

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Overview PDF DOC
Worksheets PDF DOC
Extensions PDF DOC
Full Packet PDF DOC

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  • How do we get news about the world around us?
  • How and why has communication evolved over time?
  • How can the form and speed of communication shape the message?
  • What is freedom of the press and how does it affect the ways we share information?
+ More


  • Media literacy
  • Freedom of the press in our daily lives
  • The evolution of news and communication
  • Utilizing diverse forms of communication to share information
+ More


  1. Before Your Visit
    • Media Matchup Game: In this activity students will learn about seven different forms of communication, then play a game to explore when they would want to use these different forms.
  2. During Your Visit
    • NewseumED Class – The Speed of News: Students learn how people have shared news and information throughout history — from cave paintings to telegraphs, from criers to television. At exploration stations, students get hands-on experience with new and old forms of communications.
    • The Speed of News Gallery Guide: This guide takes students to the News Corporation News History Gallery (Level 5) and Bloomberg Internet, TV and Radio Gallery (Level 3) to explore different ways news is transmitted.
  3. After Your Visit
    • How Did You Get the Message?: This activity examines how our methods of sharing information have changed over the centuries.
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