Brainfeed - Educational Videos for Kids

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Brainfeed - Educational Videos for Kids App Poster Image
Curated learning videos still best after parental preview.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can watch videos about all kinds of things, from the etymology of a word to the benefits of exercise. The videos are primarily geared toward tweens and up. Kids will find the arts, math, technology, all types of science, biography, music, history, writing, language, human nature, government, and more, though the learning is all passive.

Ease of Play

Kids will have little trouble navigating the highly visual interface despite the occasional nonintuitive behavior.

Violence

While there is little explicit violence, there are some potentially disturbing videos that include topics such as the physical changes your body undergoes when you die, a list of unusual medical conditions, and natural disasters. Weapons appear in realistic and cartoon form in many of the videos as they talk about gunpowder, historical figures, and current events.

Sex

With content on the body and biology, it's hard to avoid all mention of sex and sexuality. For instance, one video briefly discusses procreation and sexuality, while showing a cartoon couple in bed and slowly adding children to the scene. 

Language

No vulgar language was observed during the review process, but there's use of words such as "stupid."

Consumerism

In-app purchases are available (subscriptions). Brands are shown regularly via news and current event-type stories (e.g., mentioning a specific brand of hybrid car while talking about recent inventions). 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There are references to prescription drugs in some medical and biology-related videos. At least one video makes reference to drinking and being drunk (including cartoon glasses of an implied alcoholic beverage), and one shows a character smoking in bed.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Brainfeed - Educational Videos for Kids is a curated collection of educational videos from sources like TED-Ed, Cloud Biography, YouTube, and Bio.com. Most, if not all, of the videos are available elsewhere for free, so parents will need to decide if it's worth paying to have someone curate the content. While the publisher claims that the content is appropriate for age 7 and up, most of the videos are too advanced for that age, and many families will find some of it to be inappropriate for kids that young. Sensitive older kids could struggle with topics such as what happens when you die and what happens during natural disasters. Also, there are at least a few videos that present opinion as fact. One, "The Trouble with the Electoral College," presents facts about the electoral college with the intent of proving that it's an outdated system. In the end, parents will probably want to preview content to decide if it's appropriate for their kids. After the free weeklong trial, parents can subscribe. The subscription information is behind a parent gate that all but the very youngest of kids will easily pass (it requires swiping with two fingers). Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

BRAINFEED - EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS FOR KIDS is a collection of curated educational videos for kids. It covers a wide range of topics and interests including the arts, biographies, technology, biology, math, social studies, writing, and language. Kids can search for specifics or browse by topic. They also can save videos for watching later. After a one-week trial, parents can subscribe for $1.99/month.

Is it any good?

This great video content may not be appropriate for the whole family, so parents may still want to preview the curated content. Brainfeed - Educational Videos for Kids is truly a wonderful collection of videos. It covers a wide base of content, and the videos do a good job of breaking down complex ideas for the layman. But since the content is available elsewhere for free, much of the subscription value comes from the curation. If parents still need to weed through to find content that's appropriate for a particular age (or for their family politics and beliefs), that curation becomes less useful. The educational value is there, although some of the messaging is quite biased, so it will depend on the age and maturity of the kids and how families want to use the content. This may be a good source of classroom material for, for example, a homeschooling family while those who just have extra curious kids may want to search elsewhere. Thankfully, the free trial gives parents enough time to make that decision for themselves. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about media bias. How do you know if you're getting the whole story? How can you tell opinion from fact?

  • Families can find an interesting topic and learn more about it together. Do some online research or head to the local library to find books on the subject.

  • Talk to your kids about screen-time limits. How can kids enjoy digital media in balance with other activities?

App details

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