Issuu

Common Sense Media says

Teens make their own online magazine, but watch the content.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kids will be empowered by creating their own content for a magazine. The process could give them confidence and make them excited about sharing their work.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Even using Safe Search, which claims to filter inappropriate content, we saw a lot of sexual imagery both in the fashion section and when we did a specific search for "sex." (And with the Safe Search off? Extreme explicit nudity.)

Language

The site has thousands of magazines to browse through, and some of them will inevitably contain profanity.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some magazines focus on cocktail culture, while others are devoted to marijuana use.

Privacy & safety

Users can sign up with an email and a password, but Issuu's privacy policy stipulates that if users are under 13 years old, they should not use or access Issuu at any time or in any manner.

However, it's pretty easy to browse Issuu without an account. It does comply with COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) in that it doesn't collect or solicit personal information from people under the age of 13.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Issuu is a website where people can browse thousands of user-designed magazines or upload and share their own. It's very visual and interesting, and it's stocked with all kinds of content. However, it's not a site where you want your kids randomly clicking around. There are some magazines for kids, but the search function doesn't make them easy to find. Some magazines are more professional than others; since anyone can put their content on Issuu, there's a lot of mediocre stuff to wade through.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • presenting to others
  • reading
  • writing

Hobbies

  • collecting
  • cooking
  • fashion

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • collecting data
  • strategy

Creativity

  • innovation
  • making new creations
  • producing new content

Self-Direction

  • set objectives

Collaboration

  • respecting other viewpoints

Responsibility & Ethics

  • honoring the community

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • evaluating media messages
  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Some of the magazines created by other users are professional, beautiful, and fascinating, just like their glossy paper counterparts. Issuu's design presents this content fairly well, although its search function needs some work.

Learning Approach

As kids create a magazine, they'll not only be adding unique content but thinking like an old-time newspaper editor: "How do I draw in readers? What makes this magazine different from the others?"

Support

The site has a searchable FAQ section and the option to email questions to its support team. Magazines support audio, which is nice in terms of accessibility.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • presenting to others
  • reading
  • writing

Hobbies

  • collecting
  • cooking
  • fashion

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • collecting data
  • strategy

Creativity

  • innovation
  • making new creations
  • producing new content

Self-Direction

  • set objectives

Collaboration

  • respecting other viewpoints

Responsibility & Ethics

  • honoring the community

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • evaluating media messages
  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn to write articles, take photographs, organize information, and create a magazine to share with the world. They also can learn about nearly any subject by reading through the magazines other users have uploaded. Kids can learn that anyone can be a journalist if they have the time and interest. They'll also learn to promote and share their magazine through social media and other channels; reaching readers is half the fun! Issuu is a cool platform that lets kids share their ideas with the world, but the amount of content -- and its poor search mechanism -- could make the site overwhelming for some.

This Learning Rating review was written by Polly Conway

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What's it about?

ISSUU is a digital publishing platform that people can use to create their own free online magazines. Not everything uploaded to Issuu is an actual magazine; there are lots of catalogs, brochures, and menus, as well. To add your own magazine to the site, you have to design it using your own software; Issuu is more of a host than a design tool. However, you can customize the cover as well as add audio content on the site. Magazines can be up to 500 pages in length, and the site lets you track how many people are reading it and other statistics.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The selection is incredible. It's like browsing the world's largest newsstand, except everything is free. Looking for a high-design magazine all about Star Trek? It has it. A magazine about golf in central Florida? It's here, too. However, unlike a magazine shop in the real world, inappropriate content isn't hidden behind the counter. It comes up pretty easily, even with the Safe Search setting on. However, the site has some outstanding content for kids -- it's just a matter of finding it. There's no specific section for kids, and a search for "kids" brings up everything from Russian lingerie catalogs to a KISS Kids comic book (yes, the band).

It can be hard to find particular topics; a more defined category system would be really helpful, especially for kids trying to find the content meant for them. If kids want to contribute their own magazine to the site, they need to design it using their own software and then upload it, which could feel like extra work. The main concern, however, is what happens when kids casually browse Issuu; inappropriate content is easy to come across, whether it's explicit sex manuals or marijuana-growing guides. A separate site, like an Issuu for Kids, or an effective filter would make this a much safer place for young people to explore their interests.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the difference between online and print magazines. What's good about having something available online? Are online magazines more environmentally friendly than print publications?

  • If your kid could create a magazine on any subject, what would it be? Issuu's content proves that people are interested in all kinds of subjects and that there's an audience for any idea, no matter how small or unusual.

Website details

Genre:Creating
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Issuu was written by

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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