Are you interested in having your students debate about current events with other students from around the country? KQED Do Now is a weekly activity for students to engage and respond to current issues using social media tools like Twitter. KQED aims to introduce 21st Century skills and add value to learning through the integration of relevant content and new media tools and technologies. Do Now gives students a chance to practice civic engagement and digital citizenship skills while they explore ways to connect topics in their classes to the present day.

If you are interesting in using Do Now with your students, here is a self-paced tutorial that will get you oriented and ready to implement. Give yourself about 1 hour to go through it. Also, if you are interested in participating in the KQED Do Now working group for Fall, 2013, email Matt Williams at Educators who participate in working groups will receive a small stipend.

Here’s a breakdown of how Do Now works:

  • Do Now activities are posted every Friday evening at
  • There’s a brief intro to the topic and a media resource that can be played directly on the website.
  • At the top of the activity, there’s a question for students to respond to after they go through the intro and media resource to deepen the understanding of the topic.
  • Students should then respond to the Do Now either in the comments section on the website or they can tweet their response (each student must create a Twitter account).

For best practices on how to set-up your students with Twitter accounts and some troubleshooting tips, click here.

Do Now can help focus students at the start of a class period. Most activities are six to eight minutes in length. They can completed without teacher assistance and can be used to introduce ideas connected to the rest of the lesson.

The monthly content schedule is as follows:

Every Friday: Civic, Government & Politics
2nd Tuesday: Arts & Popular Culture
4th Tuesday: Science

Follow @KQEDedspace on Twitter to receive the weekly Do Now.

The Do Now discussion can reach beyond the classroom and connect students far and wide. If you have any questions, email Matthew Williams at at


Matthew Williams

Matthew Williams is a filmmaker and media educator who has recently transplanted to Oakland from Los Angeles. He believes that you are what you eat and feels everyone should have a multitude of dietary options for self-realization. Matthew is the Educational Technologist at KQED.

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