Play the NewsI briefly mentioned the Play the News site several months ago but since then have had the chance to play with it a bit more in-depth. And I’m still impressed.

Some of the site’s propaganda:

An engaging, community driven experience – imagine fantasy sports meets the evening news. Play the News is a web-based platform that brings interactive gaming elements to the online ‘news media’ industry changing the paradigm of news consumption from passive reading to active engagement. The experience is made up of the “game” component, or news games, and the community of participation around them such as commenting, rankings, and many features to come.

Okay . . . not a big fan of news releases that use the phrase “changing the paradigm” but it does give an idea of what happens when teachers and kids start to use the site. The purpose is to suck kids into the practice of following events that are taking place in the world around them. I’m all for anything that helps students see the bigger picture. I think Play the News does that.

Like some other casual online games, Play the News has a bit of the feel of a trivia game. But I really like the idea of a tool that can be used to engage kids in current events. Perhaps even following the news and asking questions rather than just reacting to the latest celebrity sighting.

Basically, players listen and read about current events in a variety of broad topics (international, US, politics, etc). They gather information from different perspectives and then predict what they think will happen next. The more accurate your predication, the higher your ranking.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJSz0tCLK0g]

Overall, a neat way to make social studies content a bit more relevant to your students.