Most of your kids, especially those in high school, spend a lot of their time in a multimedia rich and complicated world. But many also struggle with using appropriate and useful skills in that 21st century world. Your kids also shy away from sites that focus on news and current events.

As social studies and history teachers, we know how important it is for kids to be able to filter, read, evaluate and communicate about the world around them using 21st century skills. Up till now, teaching kids to do that was difficult.

Till now.

MIT and NBC News are working together in offering iCue, a new multimedia site that supports teaching and learning in History, Government and current events courses.

iCue offers students and teachers access to NBC News’ coverage of important events and topics (along with the coverage of The Washington Post, The New York Times and news outlets), and reinforces students’ classroom learning by linking the media to the curricula for those classes. These stories are also used in games and social networking activities that allow teachers and students to explore these topics in unconventional ways.

The connection to MIT’s Education Arcade and Henry Jenkins is huge! Sure, the site provides comprehensive coverage and analysis of current events. But the hook for kids is the social network and gaming feel to the site.

iCue has several sections including iConnect, iUnderstand and iExcel. The three sections let kids build their own learning network, interact with content using 21st century tools and prove deep understanding – all while kids are having fun.

The basic goal is to provide your kids with great content and encourage them to use that content in a variety of high level ways.

Very cool stuff!