Folks always ask me where they can go to find strategies for using current events and pop culture to help their students engage in their disciplines. Before I might have given these pop-culture seekers a long list of sites and blogs to check, podcasts, to listen to, and RSS feeds they should subscribe to. And while I still love those sites and I’ll probably link to them later, I’ve since realized that the easiest place to start might be the NYT blog The Learning Network, which provides lesson plans that use current and archived articles from the New York Times to teach important concepts in a variety of disciplines (Biology, History, Psychology, Civics, Fine Art, etc.) The lesson plans are designed for K-12 teachers, so they’re not ready to go in your classroom. However, the lesson plans do make the connection between the current events and the teachable concepts, and they offer an approach. You just have to adjust them to speak to students in college courses. Some recent lesson plans from the blog: “South Africa and Apartheid through the Lens of the World Cup”, “What Education Systems in Haiti Reveal About Culture”, and “Imagining the Digital Lives of Authors and Characters. Let us know what you think!