|Ron Claiborne, a reporter and anchor at ABC News, hosts NLP's New York City digital unit.
||Students at Percy Julian High School in Chicago work on NLP's digital unit in March. Photo by Kyle LaMere
The News Literacy Project’s Digital Unit: The Prime Path to National Scale
Jade French, a senior at Alcott High School in Chicago, completed the News Literacy Project's all-digital unit last December. Her response was typical of students and teachers who have done the unit thus far.
"Tying in the real world makes us feel like we're important as human beings and as growing young adults," French said. "I'll carry that with me forever."
French is one of nearly 1,000 students who have completed the compact, one-week unit in Chicago since it was first piloted last June. Students in New York participated in the first pilot unit there last month.
NLP views this innovative approach as its prime path to reach national scale in a sustainable way with significant impact.
The unit is a blended e-learning experience that is broken into five 45-minute segments, each of which consists of three to four digital lessons and prompts for teacher-led discussion. The content is designed to be delivered in a computer lab setting, with one screen per student, and includes a guide that provides teachers with discussion prompts, homework assignments and technical and logistical support.
The first four days of the unit are aligned with NLP's four essential questions, and the fifth day contains a capstone activity using NLP's "How to Know What to Believe" infographic.
The unit also involves a live webinar with an NLP journalist volunteer during the afternoon of the fourth day, which students are assigned to join from home or another location with a high-speed Internet connection.
This spring, the webinars are scheduled from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. EDT on May 16 and June 16. If you would like to register for a guest invitation to one of these live online events, you may do so here.
The Chicago-based unit is narrated by Nancy Loo of WGN News Chicago and features Fernando Diaz, managing editor of Hoy; Manya Brachear, religion reporter at the Chicago Tribune; Paul Saltzman, metro editor at the Chicago Sun-Times; and Steve Edwards, a former reporter and host at WBEZ Chicago, along with volunteers from the Associated Press and the Chicago Sun-Times.
NLP has completed three rounds of pilots with 11 schools and about 750 students in Chicago thus far this school year. The project captured some of the teachers' and students' overwhelmingly favorable comments in a video that can be viewed here.
In New York, NLP launched its first digital unit at the Frank Sinatra School for the Arts in Queens last month and plans to offer additional units this spring.
The New York unit includes the same learning content, narrated by New York journalists. The host is Ron Claiborne, a veteran reporter and anchor at ABC News. The unit also features Cheryl Wills, a reporter and weekend anchor for NY1 News; Lam Thuy Vo, a digital reporter for NPR's "Planet Money"; and Jonathan Woods, a photo editor at Time.
A Washington digital unit featuring journalists in the nation's capital will launch this fall.