These workshops combine elements from traditional professional development programming with the more flexible, teacher-directed “edcamp” model. Educators tell us what topics they are interested in and what they would like to take back to their schools from the training. We then work with journalists from the host news organization to create sessions that fit their requests. The goal for each NewsLitCamp is to develop teachers’ and librarians’ news literacy education skills and introduce them to specialized resources for teaching news literacy.
We begin each NewsLitCamp with an explanation of the importance of news literacy for students — an opportunity for participants to learn the core skills and concepts of news literacy education. The educators then attend specialized hour-long breakout sessions, led by journalists and NLP staff, that are designed to demystify the newsgathering process and explain the standards of quality journalism. Topics may include specific coverage areas, such as education or crime, or more general issues, such as the role of social media in disseminating news.
After lunch, small groups of educators explore the ideas they are most interested in, such as building curriculum tools or creating lesson plans around news literacy. At the end of the day, everyone comes together for a “shareback” session where all participants — educators, journalists and NLP staff — talk about what they have learned.