US students mark Memorial Day in various ways | Fake news, media literacy hot topics in schools | Congress hears from DeVos on education budget
May 26, 2017
NCSS SmartBrief
Social Studies – Preparing Students for College, Career and Civic Life
Teaching & Learning
US students mark Memorial Day in various ways
US students mark Memorial Day in various ways
A soldier places flags on graves in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
Students across America are honoring members of the US military for Memorial Day, which is observed Monday, such as a group of sophomores from one Michigan high school who interviewed war veterans to document their stories and placed flags on graves at a military cemetery. Some Texas third-graders met veterans via their school's Adopt-a-Veteran program, while a New York sixth-grader led peers in an after-school painting project to honor the military, which he someday hopes to join.
MLive (Michigan) (free registration) (5/25),  KIAH-TV (Houston) (5/25),  Brooklyn Daily Eagle (N.Y.) (5/25) 
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Fake news, media literacy hot topics in schools
Fake news, media literacy a hot topic in schools
More teachers are incorporating media literacy into their classes, such as a journalism teacher who uses a curriculum from the nonprofit News Literacy Project about reliable sources, newsworthiness and news gathering. A lawmaker in California has proposed a bill to assemble a panel of teachers and others to create guidelines for teaching students how to recognize fake news.
EdSource (5/24) 
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KQED Learning Launches New Online Hub
Make media matter for you and your students. Amplify student voice. FREE professional learning courses and resources focused on media literacy and civic engagement in our digital world.
Policy Watch
Congress hears from DeVos on education budget
Congress hears from DeVos on education budget
DeVos (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in testimony before Congress this week supported the administration's proposed education budget, which includes more than $9 billion in proposed cuts and seeks to direct more funding to school-choice programs. When asked about providing funding to private schools, DeVos maintained that such decisions would fall to states, rather than the federal government.
United Press International (5/24),  The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (5/24),  National Public Radio (5/24) 
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Troops to Teachers aims to address educator shortage
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has announced plans to use a $400,000 federal grant to help develop a Troops to Teachers center to train veterans for the classroom and address the state's teacher shortage. Las Vegas also has turned to the US Department of Defense's Troops to Teachers initiative to address deep teacher shortages.
Education Week Teacher (tiered subscription model) (5/22) 
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Other News
Technology in the Classroom
Video games may boost learning, studies show
Video games may boost learning, studies show
Eighth-grade students who learned US history with the help of short video games showed improved critical-thinking skills, and those who used games during assessments outperformed their peers, according to a forthcoming study of students in seven states. A separate study shows that a video game used in some Florida schools helped boost students' vocabulary skills.
District Administration magazine online (5/25) 
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Social Studies & Civic Life
How debate programs are spurring deeper learning
More than 600 schools participate in some type of urban-debate program. Research shows that such programs help boost academics, which is the case in a Chicago program, where participating students are more likely to graduate and earn higher grades and test scores.
U.S. News & World Report (5/24) 
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Students teach police about social media apps
Students teach police about social media apps
Police officers in Indiana recently asked high-school students to teach them about popular social media platforms, including Snapchat. The tutorial also included information about apps that were unknown to the officers, such as Monkey and Houseparty.
WNDU-TV (South Bend, Ind.) (5/25) 
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NCSS Updates
Summer workshop -- Constructivist Media Decoding: Media Literacy and Critical Thinking in Social Studies
Join NCSS and Project Look Sharp (Ithaca College's media literacy initiative) at the Newseum to learn Constructivist Media Decoding theory, analyze models, access resources and develop activities for practice in your classroom. The workshop will be held July 24 to 26. Learn more and register.
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Editor's Note
NCSS SmartBrief will not publish May 29
In observance of Memorial Day in the US, NCSS SmartBrief will not publish on Monday, May 29. Publication will resume Wednesday, May 31.
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The real fountain of youth is hidden in the imagination you draw upon to face everyday challenges.
Sophia Loren,
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