Newsela has been reaching out to me. Newsela is a service that provides leveled readings. A few years ago, they were all the rage. They provided free, leveled readings for students (they still do, but more about that in a minute).
Like many free services, Newsela has a free and paid version. The main point of the free version is to encourage users to move to the paid version (this is referred to as “customer acquisition”). Free works in some situations (FOSS for example), but it is important to understand why something is free. Open source is different than “customer acquisition”.
So, what’s changing in the free version of Newsela?
Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, news content will remain available in our free version. Alignments to standards and Newsela-curated Text Sets will no longer be visible without a paid subscription.
The other 20+ standards-aligned content genres such as primary sources, reference texts, pro/con paired texts, historical documents and pre-curated Text Sets will require a subscription.
We do have a couple of schools that pay for the premium version of Newsela. We do want teachers to know about resources that are available, while being smart, informed consumers.