What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this pro-education site offers articles on global business, culture, art, and other topics with an emphasis on Asia and a few activities for kids. Some articles will be too heavy for younger kids to handle (news items deal with issues like rape in India and human trafficking). User comments appear an instant after you post them with no filtering; however, language abuse seems to be pretty rare.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- cultural understanding
- global awareness
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- conveying messages effectively
Engagement, Approach, Support
The student section covers interesting topics but doesn't offer many activities or games. Also, based on the sporadic user comments, it looks like the site's rarely updated. Teens may not come back.
You'll find plenty of helpful materials about Chinese-language programs, as well as globally related topics, but not as many ways "in" for students interested in Asian countries.
The museum section offers additional arts and culture info. Some resources also touch on topics outside of language education. You can buy handbooks and guides, and there are some lesson plan ideas.
What's it about?
The Asia Society was founded in 1956 by a philanthropist hoping to teach the U.S. about Asia. Today, the nonprofit and its website promote global awareness and language education. The content ranges from news articles and blog posts on global issues like the development of mass transit in Asia and women's rights to cultural background on international cuisine. Foodies can test dozens of recipes for regional dishes like Chinese stir-fried beef, and educators can access language instruction advice and guides (much of which relate to teaching Chinese). The site also features items on internationally-themed art events, including recent global literature festivals, films, artist interviews, and Asia Society museum and exhibition information.
Is it any good?
Founded in the 1950s by philanthropist John D. Rockefeller III, the Asia Society's mission is to emphasize global awareness. There's a strong focus on language education; educators can access guides on setting up a Chinese language program and lesson plan ideas that relate to language and other subjects. Content is grouped into six major subjects: art, education, policy, business, countries, and lifestyle. Users won't find every topic under the sun, but the original news articles on global issues and cultural information offer a good look at life around the world. The site features some items for grade school-aged students, too, including a few games. However, educators and older teens are likely to get more out of the site's news articles and other information -- there really isn't much to captivate younger users (or keep them coming back to the site).
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how the global news and culture information on the site can be used to extend what kids are learning in school. How do the articles relate to history, geography, and social studies? (For more on using technology to help your kids be academically successful, check out our School Performance Tips guide.)
The lifestyle section features global cuisine information and recipes, photos of distant lands, and other cultural information. How is life different for children in the countries pictured compared to your kid's day-to-day life -- and why?
The Asia Society's website features information about a variety of artists and writers. How can your kids use storytelling or visual art to express feelings?