What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that National Geographic Education is a rich resource library containing a vast amount of multimedia content including videos, photos, games, and offline activity suggestions. Resources address a variety of science topics, such as animals, climate change, ecosystems, energy, migration, ocean, STEM, and weather, as well as coverage of some very real things that happen in the world (e.g., animals hunting and eating their catch, world conflict zones) that are approached in a respectable, informative, and balanced way. The site focuses on arming kids with the knowledge and critical-thinking skills necessary for being responsible global citizens. With this seemingly endless supply of resources, it could be easy for kids to get lost clicking on one link after another. Lots of reading material means that, although some activities might be appropriate for very young kids, they'll need help to look through them.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- cultural understanding
- global awareness
Thinking & Reasoning
- thinking critically
Responsibility & Ethics
- embracing differences
- respect for others
Engagement, Approach, Support
It's filled to the brim with fascinating information, thought-provoking activities, and some fun online games. However, there's so much material that the layout does get a bit busy and can be overwhelming.
With many ways to explore (videos, worksheets, research, activities, games), kids get an in-depth look at a wide variety of issues. The site also supports connections between online and offline exploration.
There's some guidance for best use but no way to personalize experiences or collect data on what kids have accomplished or learned.
What's it about?
National Geographic Education is a massive database of high-quality educational content, searchable by age, audience, resource type, and subject. You can access premade packages that can include video, photos, printables, games, discussion questions, comprehension checks, and offline activities around a common theme (for example, exploring the Monarch butterfly's migration). Five audience views give visitors slightly different information and options based on whether you're a teacher, an informal educator, a family, a student, or a kid.
Is it any good?
This is a great resource full of fascinating information that parents will enjoy as much as kids. Amazing videos and photos of animals, natural phenomena, world events, and more give kids a first-hand look at the world and truly make learning come alive in the classic NatGeo style. Thoughtful offline activities and reference materials (encyclopedias, maps) complement the multimedia pieces. Some online games are extra fun (find treasure hidden deep below the sea), whereas some are more thought-provoking. For example, the Global Closet Calculator lets kids explore the interdependent world by mapping where clothes come from, then following a supply chain to make jeans or MP3 players, making decisions along the way about the environment and workers' rights.
Multiple search and filter options help parents and kids sort through the content, but it's still easy to get overwhelmed. There's also no way to customize a visit or track what kids have done in the past, both of which could make the site more manageable.
Families can talk about...
Discuss some of the environmental issues explored on the site with your kids. What small things can they do to make a difference? Check the Get Involved section for citizen science projects and more.
Families can talk about some of the current events (political or geographical, for example) described on the site. Why is it important to know what's going on in the world?