Friday, April 14, 2017

Syria: what students need to know

Syria explainer for kids map

What do students really need to know about Syria? Here are 4 key ideas that can help kids go beyond the latest headlines:

1. Syria isn’t just a war on a map. For thousands of years, Syria has been a place where human beings lived, laughed, created art, studied, and loved. Bordering the Mediterranean Sea, located between Lebanon and Turkey, and a bit bigger than the American state of Pennsylvania, the country of Syria also contains several ancient UNESCO World Heritage Sites that used to attract tourists from all over the world. Then in 2011, a series of factors ignited a civil war:

2. Yet in the past 7 years, almost 500,000 Syrians have died — and millions more men, women, and children have fled into the unknown. What would you do if a bomb destroyed your home and you lost everything? Where would you go for safety, if you had to leave your country? Many individuals have faced these questions because of the ongoing conflict. In this video, a young Syrian named Mohammed Alsaleh describes what happened after he fled violence and imprisonment by the Assad regime. Mohammed now lives in Canada, where he counsels newly arrived Syrian refugee families:

3. Beyond the borders of Syria, humanity is currently facing the largest humanitarian crisis since World War IIConflict — particularly in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, and northeast Nigeria — has led to famine. About 60 million people around the globe have been forced to leave their homes to escape war, violence, and persecution. Some of them have been granted asylum in other countriesincluding the US. This TED-Ed Lesson explains what the term ‘refugee’ really means:

4. Future history books will record how today’s leaders reacted to these preventable tragedies in 2017, but only you can choose what you do next. Here’s one way that an individual responded to world news. Here’s another way that someone took action. What will your response be?

To learn more about Syria from a variety of media perspectives, check out The Week’s ongoing coverage. To learn something new every week, sign up for the free TED-Ed Newsletter here >>

via TED-Ed Blog http://blog.ed.ted.com/2017/04/13/syria-what-students-need-to-know/


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

10 great books recommended for students, by students

kidreadingTEDEdBlog

Every great book is a portal — to adventure, to knowledge, or to new perspectives. Beyond the world’s required reading list, what books do high school and middle school students love to read? We asked TED-Ed Club Members around the globe to share their favorites. Below, check out 9 great books recommended by and for young people:

1. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Susan Eloise Hinton wrote The Outsiders while she was a high school student — and 50 years after the book’s first publication, it’s still a riveting look at friendship, rivalry, and emotions. “This book teaches us how to be more tolerant of each other,” says Artem Kotov, a student in Moscow, Russia.

2. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
This bestselling book about two twins is recommended by Thu Ho, a student in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Thu recommends it because of “the realistic imperfection of the two main characters.” Also, it’s beautifully written.

3. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
In this retelling of the classic tale, A Thousand and One Nights, the female protagonist is a strong character, capable of more than just defending herself. “I have reread this duology (the first book being The Wrath and the Dawn, the second being The Rose and the Dagger) about 7 times now. I love it more every time,” says Irfhana Zakir Hussain, a student in California, USA.

4. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
This heartbreaking, beautiful novel comes highly recommended by Libby Driscoll, a student in Shropshire, England. “It has a deep, sensitive main character who expresses her emotions so well and brings tears to my eyes every time,” says Libby.

5. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
This heartbreaking, beautiful novel comes highly recommended by Libby Driscoll, a student in Shropshire, England. “It has a deep, sensitive main character who expresses her emotions so well and brings tears to my eyes every time,” says Libby.

6. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
This heartbreaking, beautiful novel comes highly recommended by Libby Driscoll, a student in Shropshire, England. “It has a deep, sensitive main character who expresses her emotions so well and brings tears to my eyes every time,” says Libby.

7. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
This heartbreaking, beautiful novel comes highly recommended by Libby Driscoll, a student in Shropshire, England. “It has a deep, sensitive main character who expresses her emotions so well and brings tears to my eyes every time,” says Libby.

8. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
This heartbreaking, beautiful novel comes highly recommended by Libby Driscoll, a student in Shropshire, England. “It has a deep, sensitive main character who expresses her emotions so well and brings tears to my eyes every time,” says Libby.

9. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
This heartbreaking, beautiful novel comes highly recommended by Libby Driscoll, a student in Shropshire, England. “It has a deep, sensitive main character who expresses her emotions so well and brings tears to my eyes every time,” says Libby.

10. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
This heartbreaking, beautiful novel comes highly recommended by Libby Driscoll, a student in Shropshire, England. “It has a deep, sensitive main character who expresses her emotions so well and brings tears to my eyes every time,” says Libby.

 

To celebrate and amplify youth voices in your community, start a TED-Ed Club.

Author bio: Laura McClure is an award-winning journalist and the TED-Ed Editor. Annie Brodsky is a university student and occasional intern at TED-Ed. We at TED-Ed Blog think she’s fabulous. Art credit: iStock.

To learn something new every week, sign up for the TED-Ed Newsletter here >>

via TED-Ed Blog http://blog.ed.ted.com/2017/04/05/10-great-books-recommended-for-students-by-students/


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Factchecking 101

TEDEDBlogmediafactcheckimage

What are facts? Facts are the truthful answers to a reporter’s 5 key questions: who, what, when, where, and how. Facts may include names, numbers, dates, definitions, quotes, locations, research findings, historical events, statistics, survey and poll data, titles and authors, pronouns, financial data, institution names and spellings, and historical or biographical details attributed to anyone or anything. Facts are checkable.

What is factchecking? Factchecking is the process of checking facts, in order to create and share accurate, evidence-based media that relies on high-quality, reliable primary and secondary sources.

What kinds of facts do people often get wrong? The most frequent mistakes occur in the spellings of names and institutions, and the attribution or wording of quotes. These errors can be relatively harmless — for example, a throwaway remark about Ben Franklin. Or, they can be devastating — for example, listing the wrong person in a breaking news article about a bombing. If you’re a student, get in the habit of getting it right.

While the majority of factual errors are probably not nefarious, there are instances in which people may deliberately hide important facts or introduce inaccuracy. For journalists in these situations, three maxims are useful in finding the facts: ‘follow the money’, ‘consider the source’, and ‘who benefits?’ Remember, a reporter’s job is to find and share the facts that matter, even if people don’t like it.

What are some reliable sources for facts?
Facts are only as good as their sources. There are two main types of sources: primary sources and secondary sources. Primary sources may include people, transcripts, videos, visitor logs, raw data, recorded interviews, original research, and direct observation. Secondary sources may include newspaper articles, magazine articles, and books. (Important note: unlike magazines, many books are not factchecked! If you’re using a book as a source, look for a bibliography or notes to track down an author’s sources, and then re-report if needed.)

Reliable sources for facts include: your own original research, recorded interviews, and in-person observations; reference librarians (who can point you to the right sources); peer-reviewed scientific data; TED-Ed Lessons; some magazines and newspapers; and the TED Talks featured on TED.com.

As with all sources, watch out for inaccuracy, outdated information, and unconscious bias (for example, avoid disproven studies, or articles that talk about people ‘looting’ vs ‘finding’ and ‘rioting’ vs ‘protesting’). As a factchecker, your job is not to spread inaccuracy, outdated information, or unconscious bias further. Instead, your role is to increase the world’s supply of truth by shining a light on facts that matter.

To learn more about the media, read “How to tell fake news from real news.”

Art credit: iStock

Laura McClure is an award-winning journalist and the TED-Ed Editor. To learn something new every week, sign up here for the TED-Ed Newsletter.

via TED-Ed Blog http://blog.ed.ted.com/2017/03/30/factchecking-101/