What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that users need to either sign in using Facebook or Twitter or register to post comments. You need to be 14 or older to register; however, if you're rejected because you enter a younger age, you can easily try again with a new birth date and gain access.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- forming arguments
- reading comprehension
- global awareness
Responsibility & Ethics
- embracing differences
- honoring the community
- evaluating media messages
- social media
Engagement, Approach, Support
Blog posts feature celebrity-supported causes. The celeb tie-ins should interest kids, but additional interactive elements would help keep them engaged. While there's some fluff, the site wins points for its upbeat, encouraging tone.
Kids learn about social issues through blog posts about the topics and by clicking on links to sites run by charitable organizations, which provide additional information.
Each item also links to a not-for-profit or other organization's website for additional background. Separate sections link to sites with green tips, volunteer gigs, and other ways to help.
What's it about?
MTV ACT, which replaced activism-based site think.mtv.com in 2011, features blog posts on celebrity-supported causes like being eco-friendly, anti-bullying efforts, and political concerns. Readers can donate to support issues they care about and share MTV Act items on Facebook by clicking on the action prompt at the end of each post. Each item also links to a not-for-profit or other organization's website for additional background. You can follow other users to see what they're posting, and the site features some charity-related giveaways.
Is it any good?
MTV retooled think.mtv.com into MTV ACT, billed as a place "where fist pumping and lending a helping hand collide," in February 2011. Activism and music celebs are still center stage--but the news is presented in blog format. At the end of each post, readers are prompted to take action by posting a comment (although many recent entries don't have any), sharing the item on Facebook, donating, or visiting a related organization's site. Separate sections link to sites with green tips, volunteer gigs, and other ways to help. Some posts seem to have a touch of commercial influence--but the site wins points for its upbeat, encouraging tone. Even if you don't love the musicians who are mentioned, it's hard to discredit MTV Act's mission; empowering teens to spend their time online tackling world issues is a noble effort.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how to be safe when using sites with a social networking component. What kind of information should you not include in your profile?
Do you know if social networking sites you've signed up for automatically set your profile to be public or private? Find out tips to use the Internet safely in our guide to protecting kids' privacy online.
What can you do if you feel like someone is bullying you or posting inappropriate things about comments you've made? Find out the five things you need to know about cyberbullying.