CNN Student News

Common Sense Media says

News site for kids has access to adult articles and topics.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The site encourages kids to form opinions and connect current events to their own lives through discussion.

Violence

Because it’s fairly easy to access the regular CNN News site from CNN Student News, kids might encounter articles on murders, school shootings, and other violent topics.

Sex

Kids can click onto the main CNN News site, where they could access articles on sex-related topics.

Language

Students can comment on the daily broadcast, discussions questions, and blog posts, though that seems fairly uncommon. They can access the main CNN News site fairly easily, where comments are filtered for profanity, but discussions can get heated and could include name calling.

Consumerism

On most pages, the site includes ads for CNN's news shows and cable hosts as well as a few less obvious, smaller ads from organizations that are not likely to be of concern or interest to kids, such as employment sites or credit agencies.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Kids could click onto the main CNN News site, where they might access articles about alcohol and drug use.

Privacy & safety

The site requires no personal information to access the news stories or discussion questions. If kids want to have the daily newscasts or podcasts sent via email, they need provide an e-mail address and name. Posting comments is possible but most kids aren't likely to want to bother as the site doesn't stimulate that kind of interactivity.

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

Subjects

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • events
  • global awareness
  • government
  • the economy

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • defining problems
  • thinking critically

Self-Direction

  • academic development

Communication

  • asking questions

Tech Skills

  • evaluating media messages

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

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.

Learning Approach

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.

Support

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 kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • events
  • global awareness
  • government
  • the economy

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • defining problems
  • thinking critically

Self-Direction

  • academic development

Communication

  • asking questions

Tech Skills

  • evaluating media messages

Kids can learn about current events from the ten-minute daily broadcast of news stories and features, designed for kids in middle and high school. Broadcaster Carl Azuz narrates clips from correspondents in different parts of the world, filling in historical details and background and giving them context. Although there are some supplementary resources that round out the stories and fill in details and context for kids, it's not clear that kids would access these elements on their own. Some guidance is recommended to help kids sort out the stories presented in the daily news feature and keep them from straying off of the student site.

This Learning Rating review was written by Lynne Glasner

Parents say

Kids say

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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?

QUALITY
 

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?

Website details

Genre:Educational
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free

This review of CNN Student News was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written bymrcrag October 17, 2013
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Violence, war, politics, guns, suicide? NO WAY!

VERY little content for kids here. CNN just slaps a disclaimer on the front so you're on your own. In the three weeks that I've been previewing the episodes (incredibly, this is part of my child's 6th grade "geography" curriculum), I've seen graphic footage of: Syrian Civil War, Nairobi Mall massacre, Navy Yard shooting, 9-11, bullying-induced suicide, etc. What isn't violent is often political, essentially teaching kids that US government doesn't work and that our country is run by angry, disenfranchised and accusatory children. Yes, there are some worthwhile stories but they are few and sandwiched between killings, suicide and war. In summary: It's not for me and certainly not for my child.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism

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