Mashable

 

Learning(i)

Slightly sensationalistic news, social networking.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A section dedicated to health and fitness offers updates on healthy living trends and treatments.

Violence

Because the site links to articles and videos on other news sites, kids can be exposed to just about anything -- including images of shooting victims and other graphic fare.

Sex

Although the content tends to be more informative than explicit, articles touch on sexually related topics such as an iPhone app that helps evaluate potential sexual partners.

Language

Swears in article headlines are somewhat censored; for example, an article about Cee-lo refers to his hit song "F-ck You." But you can include words like "damn" when posting comments.

Consumerism

Videos are preceded by ads -- which are also pretty much everywhere on the site.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Articles touch on subjects like drinking games and following "cannabis culture" online.

Privacy & safety

The site will access your Facebook profile info and can post items about articles you’ve read on your timeline -- unless you choose to disable the functionality when you log in using Facebook.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while the site advises users to use discretion when sharing personal information, it's easy to follow total strangers -- or be followed. Users can see what you've commented on, then respond to your posts. And, if Mashable COO Adam Hirsch's profile is any indication, you may get your fair share of spam: Users have posted comments for him about emailing to get personal photos, unblocking websites at work, and seeking him "for true friendship."
 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion
  • reading comprehension

Social Studies

  • geography
  • the economy

Skills

Emotional Development

  • identifying emotions
  • perspective taking

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • speaking

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Short, snappy articles on recent U.S. and global news topics, lifestyle features, and other news, should capture news-savvy teens' interest and provide a positive forum to discuss current events.

Learning Approach

Readers can choose to follow certain topics, or other users, and sign up for a daily newsletter. By posting comments, teens can also learn to express their opinion in a responsible way -- and find out other readers' perspectives on issues.

Support

The site has a how-to section with tips on using LinkedIn and other sites. Users can follow subjects on a regular basis or just view a list of trending topics. Mashable also has a job board and can be downloaded as a mobile app.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion
  • reading comprehension

Social Studies

  • geography
  • the economy

Skills

Emotional Development

  • identifying emotions
  • perspective taking

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • speaking

Kids can learn about current events on this social media-friendly site while reinforcing reading comprehension. General subject matter areas include business articles, entertainment, and U.S. and world news; each contains dozens of stories from music apps to the presidential campaign. A social media how-to section offers usage tips. The site's coverage can occasionally feel a little sensationalistic, and articles aren't typically very in-depth, but they can be a good place for older teens to get interested in the news. Mashable should capture teens' interest and provide a positive forum to discuss current events.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Brereton

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What's it about?

Like many other news sites, Mashable covers recent events; users can also check out videos and articles on business, entertainment, and other topics. However, the site's heavy integration with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter -- to post comments, you'll need to sign in using one -- and casual tone differentiates it from many other current event sites. Users can follow subjects on a regular basis or just view a list of trending topics. Mashable also has a job board and can be downloaded as an app for an iPhone, iPad, or other device.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Social media-centric news site MASHABLE includes short, snappy articles on recent U.S. and global news topics, lifestyle features, and other news. To customize your coverage, you can opt to receive a daily e-newsletter and follow specific topics (and people -- including celebrities and Mashable execs). However, if you're not social media-savvy, don’t worry: The site also has a how-to section with tips on using LinkedIn and other sites. Mashable’s format is pretty straightforward, and the writing is conversational without being too casual (it still feels like a news site -- with a touch of tabloid journalism). However, because of the emphasis on merging Mashable with your social networking profile, parents are likely to have some concerns. One potential solution: Monitor how your teen accesses the site. Users can read the articles (which tend to be more newsworthy than negligently scandalous) without logging in -- but they can't leave comments unless they connect via Facebook or Twitter.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what they thought of the news coverage -- did the topics interest them? Did they feel like the writing was easy to understand and sounded unbiased?

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  • The site includes a strong focus on social media. How does your child typically find out about big news items: through sites like Facebook and Twitter or in the newspaper? Discuss the different ways both outlets prepare and share breaking news. Parents may want also want to check out our social networking tips.

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  • Readers can post comments on the site. Are kids wondering what kinds of comments are acceptable to post? If it's OK to say anything they want because they're giving an opinion on recent news topics? Take a look at our advice about manners in the digital age.

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Website details

Genre:Educational
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Mashable 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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