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Topico - Share the news
Pros: The intentional design that eliminates comments encourages a focus on exploring different perspectives without the influence of others' opinions.
Cons: Since Newsrooms are user-curated and engagement focuses on recommendations, it's important to address how confirmation bias can influence news consumption and sharing.
Bottom Line: Curated, topic-specific Newsrooms help students focus on topics from various sources on one timeline.
How Can I Teach with This Tool?
Teachers can use Topico to enhance reading, comprehension, and critical thinking skills. This tool easily lends itself to main idea and supporting detail assignments using high-interest articles on current events. Use articles from an array of sources representing the same topic tag to explore how information is presented across news media -- digging into the following questions: What makes a news source trustworthy? Why is the same event or news covered differently by different outlets? Discussion that promotes an analytical look at news media can help students develop their own opinions and become critical consumers of news.
Teachers can also use Topico to engage students in collective inquiry. Create and curate a Newsroom with articles for the class to explore. Invite students to add articles to the class Newsroom as well. Organizing recommended news articles in one space streamlines access and peer recommendations. Newsrooms tracking a specific tag also simplify following a timeline and tracking how information and public opinion evolves. Topico encourages users to engage with each other by recommending articles, keeping the focus on noteworthy news without the "noise" of user comments and personal opinions. More multilingual and accessibility features would help all students use it, and integrations with other platforms would allow for easier classroom use.