What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's nothing offensive on the CNN Student News site itself, and no personal information is required to use the site's features. However, links at the top of the page give access to the main CNN News site, where kids might encounter stories with mature topics such as crime, drugs, violence, or rape. For optimal learning, some guidance is recommended to help kids sort out the stories presented in the daily news feature and keep kids from straying off of the student site.
What kids can learn
- cultural understanding
- global awareness
- the economy
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- defining problems
- thinking critically
- academic development
- asking questions
- evaluating media messages
Engagement, Approach, Support
In addition to world news, kids get human-interest stories and pertinent informational pieces. The videos help attract kids who might otherwise skip the site, but there's no interactivity.
The daily 10-minute news report will give kids a leg up on what's going on out there. The site can be a blueprint for teachers to create projects and discuss current events.
CNN Student News is clearly laid out, but you'll want to bookmark it -- the main site doesn't show you how to get to it. The FAQ section provides helpful information.
What's it about?
The CNN Student News home page has neatly arranged and easy-to-follow sections that give the necessary information for students, parents, and teachers. The main feature is the daily news report, in which broadcaster Carl Azuz offers up the news of the day with explanations that include important background information for understanding the issues. The Resources section includes transcripts of each broadcast, discussion suggestions, and downloadable maps, all targeted to the topics. The FAQ section provides helpful information for all users.
Is it any good?
CNN Student News is addressed to parents and teachers as well as kids, and it may be that the site is best used in a classroom or with parental guidance. The main feature, the daily news broadcast, lumps together multiple stories, making the narration sound like a very long run-on sentence. Each story can stand on its own and is extremely informative, appropriate, and interesting, but kids will need some guidance to stop the video after each segment, whether to discuss it, get additional information, or simply reflect a bit.
The site is clearly labeled, and resources and additional stories are easy to find. The linked sections offer video broadcasts from CNN shows and can stand on their own. Independent reviewing of these sections may get kids drawn in and interested in related issues. The site has a lot to offer and much can be learned by using the materials provided.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the news. Help kids analyze media by discussing the presentation of one of the featured news stories. What made the story interesting? Are there opinions expressed in it? Whose views are shown?
Select one of the human interest feature stories. Ask your kids if they were influenced by the story? In what way? What did they learn from this particular article?
Watch a 15-minute local news broadcast with your child and discuss how it differs from the CNN Student News broadcast of the same day. Are there overlapping stories? If so, why might this be the case?