Children are naturally curious about what’s going on in the world, but current events can be confusing, scary, and difficult to navigate. That’s why Ideastream Public Media is proud to produce “NewsDepth”!
“NewsDepth” is a weekly interactive digital series that breaks down the biggest news stories into teachable lessons for Ohio’s 4th to 6th-grade students.
The show provides cross-curricular and real-world learning opportunities that spark class discussions. Beyond covering current events, “NewsDepth” features science, civics, Ohio history, and art segments aligned with state learning standards.
Students engage with the show weekly by answering a writing prompt and participating in an online poll. Student letters featured in the show reward great writing techniques – teaching students language arts and digital literacy skills in a fun way. The show also highlights students and classes doing creative and community work by sharing photos and videos in its A+ feature.
Full half-hour episodes of “NewsDepth” are available 24/7 on ideastream.org and the PBS Video App. Special segments also post on PBS Learning Media, YouTube, and newsdepth.ideastream.org. “NewsDepth” is also broadcast on multiple Ohio PBS stations to serve schools and families without internet access.
“NewsDepth” is headed into its 52nd season and has become a trusted and loved free resource for hundreds of teachers across Ohio. But over the last several years, enhancements have allowed the show to evolve from a broadcast production to an interactive online series with a solid educational foundation.
These changes include modifying our web presence on ideastream.org to be user-friendly and expanding our reach by cross-posting the program and its segments on YouTube and PBS LearningMedia. We have revamped our engagement elements to be more child-friendly, and student engagement has since skyrocketed.
We have also begun creating weekly teacher resources (episode guides, digital worksheets) to encourage deeper learning with “NewsDepth.” We have also brought our loyal teachers into the decision-making process through a recently-formed Teacher Advisory Council. Teacher input is now core to our product development.
All of this is accomplished by a handful of staff.
“NewsDepth” has been recognized by industry professionals including multiple regional Emmy awards and Gold Seals from the Parents’ Choice Awards (the same award given to national PBS shows “Odd Squad,” “Arthur,” etc.).