April 24th, 2021

Educator Voices: Exploring current events through media literacy and civic action

Online LearningSocial Studies
KQED’s Learn and NewsHour EXTRA’s Journalism in Action websites provide students with ways to explore key issues in the news through media literacy and civic engagement.


If you would like to sign up for NewsHour EXTRA’s Educator Zooms, click here.

NewsHour EXTRA held its Educator Voice Zoom series in Jan. on the topic of media literacy and the role of journalism with KQED’s Learn Rachel Roberson and EXTRA’s Journalism in Action’s curriculum writers, Liz Ramos, Syd Golston, Greg Timmons and Vic Pasquantonio.

The PBS conversation was hosted by Sari Beth Rosenberg, NYC public school teacher, and was attended by dozens of educators from across the country.

The conversation focused on NewsHour EXTRA’s new interactive website Journalism in Action: Civic Engagement and Primary Sources Through Key Moments in History and KQED’s Learn.

You can watch the full Zoom here and check out highlights below.

Highlight clips:

Syd Golston, retired school administrator and past president of the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS), explains how primary sources are used in the case study on immigration in regards to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the issue of migrant farm labor.


Rachel Roberson discusses Learn, a KQED current events and media literacy website, that allows students from across the country to interact with each other about the news and civics in a safe space.


Teacher Meleah Hall from the Bay Area shares a lesson she created about constitutionalism and how she starts off her class by studying the constitution of Accompong, a Maroon village in the mountains of Jamaica. Students then get a chance to write their own constitution.


Greg Timmons, curriculum writer for Journalism in Action and ret. social studies teacher from Montana, discusses the role of the news media during the Civil War and how to analyze political cartoons with the site’s magnifier tool.


In this clip Rebeca Zimmerman, a journalism teacher in Albuquerque, New Mexico, explains how renowned photojournalist Mathew Brady staged his Civil War photographs. Camera equipment was massive, and so photographers would take photos in the aftermath of battle, often reconstructing the scene.


Teacher-librarian Nadine A. Loza of Riverside, Calif. discusses the importance of professional journalism standards and the need for a free press in a democratic society.


Dr. Ricardo Elizalde, educator and KQED media literacy innovator in San Francisco, discusses the different ways to teach students about media literacy, including NewsHour EXTRA’s Journalism in Action and KQED’s Learn.


Sari Beth Rosenberg talks about the connections between Reconstruction era events like the Memphis Riots and the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.


Liz Ramos, social studies teacher of Ranch Cucamonga, Calif. and Journalism in Action curriculum writer, shares her lesson about the Capitol Insurrection and what it was like to teach a brand new set of students on Jan. 6th.


If you would like to contribute to Educator Voice, NewsHour EXTRA’s blog on how current events affect life for educators including school personnel, please send your idea to Vic Pasquantonio at

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