KidsPost

(i)

 

Learning(i)

Safe, kid-centric news site could use lots more content.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The site encourages kids to be aware, informed, and engaged by following current news topics, and its tone is upbeat. A money-management quiz, for example, rewards financial responsibility by saying, "Wow. Can we borrow money from you?"

Violence

KidsPost articles tend to shy away from graphic violence, but kids can easily click over to the Washington Post site and find images and articles on bombings and other violent events.

Sex

The Washington Post's site, which is easy to access from KidsPost, contains articles on sex slave crimes, sexual assault, and the porn industry. However, content is informational, not sensationalistic.

Language

KidsPost comments appear to be clean, but words like s--t do occasionally pop up in posts on Washington Post site Q&As. However, swear words are replaced in all Post articles with, for example, [expletive] or partial versions of words (f---ing). 

Consumerism

Full-page ads sometimes precede articles, sponsored links are on the home page, and Post subscription ads are featured on most pages.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The main Washington Post site covers drug-related issues, but the focus is on news; user comments occasionally endorse drug use, but articles don't.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that KidsPost is a kid-friendly version of the Washington Post; kids can register and post comments to the site if they're over 13. Comments from brand-new users are monitored for language and content before they're posted; the Post says it polices the site and removes infractions, and, based on searches and controversial topic comments on the main Washington Post site, that appears to be true. Comments are disabled on some posts; the site typically allows commenting for 14 days after publication and has a policy to close comments on articles of a sensitive nature, such as obituaries.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion
  • reading

Social Studies

  • events
  • history

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation
  • thinking critically

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively

Tech Skills

  • evaluating media messages
  • social media

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Content is interesting but rarely breaking news. Users don't seem to utilize the comment option, which could offer discussion or self-expression opportunities. (Many articles have one or no comments.) 

Learning Approach

Articles are informative, written for kids, and well-organized, but the site doesn't provide comprehensive news coverage. Kids won't see all-new content daily. Unless educators utilize extras, activities center on reading and a few quizzes.

Support

Kids get age-specific book suggestions and links for extra info, but most resources are for educators, including dozens of lesson plans. A Newspaper in Education program offers content-based activities geared toward D.C.-area classes.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion
  • reading

Social Studies

  • events
  • history

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation
  • thinking critically

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively

Tech Skills

  • evaluating media messages
  • social media

Kids can learn about select topics, such as endangered species, sports, and historical events. A separate section has activities on history, geography, health, finance, politics, and science. The site also offers communication and self-expression opportunities. Don't expect current event coverage; it isn't the focus. KidsPost's scope is limited, but it can be used for reading practice and to introduce kids to news publications.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Brereton

Parents say

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What's it about?

One newspaper-conduct principle of former Washington Post publisher Eugene Meyer from 1935? Papers should be \"fit reading for the young.\" KIDSPOST, featuring kid-focused news, was first published in 2000 and is available online and in the paper from Sunday to Thursday. Articles target second- to seventh-grade readers; some include extras links to sites on the topic and fact lists. Topics include back-to-school books, sports, and select activities. Kids also can comment on articles if they're 13 or older and they register.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

The Washington Post's KidsPost content, which often involves historical events, gets points for being written specifically for kids. However, the site has fairly frequent missed media opportunities. An article on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, for example, doesn't include an audio, video, or text version of the speech. There also aren't any visual tweaks to make the site easy for kids to navigate; its interface is nearly identical to the standard Post. Most contributions seem to be from staff writers or wire services instead of kids, and users under 13 can't post comments, increasing the safety factor but preventing opinion-sharing. Activities are few (and many are quizzes). The frequent Post subscription ads also detract from the experience; they seem to pop up everywhere and get annoying fast. However, there are a few good resources: the Readers' Corner features kids' book reviews written in a kid-friendly voice, and the lesson plans for teachers can be a good jumping-off point for discussion. KidsPost can provide extra reading practice, but, for current events or news analysis, you may want to provide monitored access to a more comprehensive site.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about responsible, informative news coverage. What elements make an article a good read? How can you tell if facts are substantiated?
  •  
  • Newspapers often feature editorials and essays. What's the difference between a piece of writing that expresses someone's opinion and one that reports facts about an event or issue? How can you tell them apart?
  •  
  • Newspaper readers can share their feelings about an article by posting comments on a website or submitting a letter to the editor. Discuss communicating your reaction to a topic in an effective way.
  •  

Website details

Genre:Educational
Pricing structure:Free

This review of KidsPost 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.

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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Teen, 13 years old Written byHOLAKRIS23 December 9, 2014

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