Three easy ways to keep your students focused while taking advantage of downtime


Maybe you’ve heard that NexxGen News has already debuted on Edmodo. Or that NexxGen News makes weekly episodes with student-focused news segments — like the recent college admissions scandal. (Or maybe you haven’t heard! That’s okay too.) NexxGen News makes quick segments that are perfect for your homeroom or class downtime, so students have something to focus on while you transition between activities or fill out the rest of your homeroom.

Do you have an idea for what NexxGen News should cover? Share your feedback here!

Here are three easy ways to use NexxGen videos for any class:

1. Start a Discussion

This one may be best suited for homeroom, on those days when school announcements and attendance don’t quite fill up the full period, but you can’t let your students just sit around and goof off.

If you’ve got a particularly long homeroom, try showing a full episode of NexxGen News with three segments. Take a moment to consider some discussion questions for each segment. For example, in the case of the college admissions scandal:

How does this scandal make your students feel about their own college plans?

This method was definitely illegal, but how might the current admissions system make it easier for students from rich families to get into certain colleges?

Is it fair to put ivy league colleges on a lottery system for admissions?

Or consider the segment on US and China trade:

How many things do you own that are made in China?

How do you feel about global businesses like Hollywood changing their product for China?

Is the damage from the current trade war with China worth the benefit?

You might be surprised at the discussion that comes out of these segments! Plus, it’s a quick, easy way to share valuable information with students and practice critical thinking skills.

2. Keep Students Focused Between Activities

We’ve all been there: You’ve got a period full of activities but they have a lot of set-up time, or you need to give some students extra time while they catch up with the rest of the class. Well, NexxGen videos are an easy way to keep students informed and focused on educational content while you finish up or get things prepped.

Role model segments from NexxGen News can help bring some inspiration to your classroom.

NexxGen’s recurring role model segments (like this one on a celebrity hairstylist who provides haircuts for the homeless or the blogger who turned her anxieties into a message of hope) are a great fit for this.

Imagine you’re collecting some papers or scrolling through your digital assignments, double-checking everything’s been turned in while your students are getting inspired by a role model in their community. By the time the segment’s over, you’ve got your quick classroom errands finished and everyone’s ready to move on to the next activity or class period.

And for students, it’s a lot more interesting to watch a video than just “sit tight and wait” while everything gets prepared for the next lesson.

3. Link Your Lesson to Current Events

Making lessons relevant to students in their daily lives is one of the toughest parts about implementing curriculum in the classroom. How do you make students care about coding or cell biology when they say it’s not relevant to their daily lives?

NexxGen videos are a fantastic way of bridging that gap. For example, check out this segment on UC Irvine’s growing esports scholarship program. By learning the fundamentals of coding, they can better understand how esports work, and get an edge on those same scholarships.

Now take a look at this segment on preventing sports injuries. If you’re teaching a lesson on biology, you can explain how cell respiration helps keep athletes’ bodies going. Or you could talk about physics of sports injuries and how the human body reacts to forces like blunt objects or gravity.

You can connect NexxGen News segments to your lessons to show students how certain concepts are relevant in their daily lives.

It doesn’t have to be a perfect fit, but one small step in the direction of a student’s daily experience can hook them for the rest of the lesson. And as NexxGen’s video library grows, you’ll have even more segments to choose from!


Those are just three ways you can use NexxGen News videos in your classroom, whether it’s making homeroom a little more exciting or enriching your class downtime.

Interested in helping NexxGen News find new stories or sharing feedback with the team about what to cover in future episodes? Send us your thoughts through this simple survey.