August 30 2016
Engage students in issues of science and media literacy with KQED’s entertaining and informative hype-busting video series Above the Noise.
If you want your students to tackle real-world issues and take a deeper look at evidence, data and research, then KQED’s video series Above the Noise belongs in your classroom. Keep reading to find ideas about using this new series to help your students cut through the hype and learn more about the world around them.
Above the Noise is a YouTube series for middle- and high-school students that dives deep into the big questions behind issues affecting students’ daily lives. Episodes take on complex subject matter with facts and research to help young viewers draw informed conclusions, while inspiring media literacy and civic engagement.
Above the Noise focuses on data and science literacy, but the series takes on issues that are just as relevant in English and social studies classrooms.
Each episode has a similar structure in order to help students unpack the topic.
Step 1: Choose an Above the Noise episode
Check out the episode list on our YouTube channel and accompanying resources on the KQED Education website. From gerrymandering to genetically engineered mosquitoes, there’s something for everyone!
Step 2: View and Discuss
As a class or in small groups, have students watch the Above the Noise episode. True to YouTube style, the narration can move quickly, so plan to watch more than once. You can also stop and start the video as needed and use the closed-caption function. Use the student viewing notes handout to help your students keep their thoughts organized.
Before Watching the Video
Gauge what students already know about the topic. If you want to provide a brief overview, you can find more resources in the episode’s blog post on KQED Education. Start by asking students the following questions:
Stop to check for understanding and point out the data and media literacy aspects of the episode. Here are questions that apply to almost all videos:
Help students share their thoughts and internalize the media literacy strategies from the episode using the following questions:
If you and your students want to explore the issue further, you can review the research behind each episode and find links to further reading on the Above the Noise collection page.
Want to know more about the Above the Noise hosts? Check out the Welcome video.
Step 3: Let Us Know What You Think!
In addition to sharing your thoughts on individual episodes, we are also looking for new ideas and will give a shout out (and full credit) to any classroom who comes up with an idea for an episode we produce. Youth voice is integral to Above the Noise. In addition to asking our audience for ideas, we work closely with KQED’s high school Youth Advisory Board, which co-produces the series.
Connect with us on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram using #TeachATN. That way, we’ll be able to able to find your comments and questions. We would love to hear from your students, but also from you! Let us know how you are using Above the Noise as a teaching tool!
By Andrea Aust and Rachel Roberson
Originally Posted on KQED Education
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