Sometimes for a professor it can be hard to find a way to bridge the gap between the theory of a textbook and the reality that goes on around us. The news is one way to do this.
Finding a way to tie in current events to a lecture and interesting points of reference is a wonderful to get discussion going in classrooms. Most students would keep up to date on things that are going on. This is a collective knowledge that can be used to stimulate discussion.
Some of things that are really hot topics right now include Barack Obama winning the democratic nomination in the United States. This historical event is something that really should be discussed in classrooms. In general, the United States is better at discussing such points in the classroom, whereas in Canada, professors tend to shy away from discussing politics, with the exception of political science courses and classes.
Journalism classes are another arena where important current events are discussed are often tested as part of the curriculum. Another way to make sure students are aware of current events is to have them do assignments linked to real-life situations that are occurring in the news. This will help them to understand that the world around them does count in the classroom, plus as citizens it is their duty to be aware of the news.