What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
What's it about?
NBC LEARN is a website that features photos, articles, and more than 18,000 archived NBC News reports, dating back to the 1920s. The archive includes programs such as Meet the Press and NBC Nightly News. Without a subscription, you can access 14 free sections, which primarily center on science topics such as chemistry in everyday life. But others provide writing advice from authors, civil rights-era background information, and details about the Titanic. Content is well-organized; an icon denotes which items are videos, photos, or articles, and some items link to corresponding activities, which are identified by grade level.
Is it any good?
Kids should enjoy the NBC Learn sections on timely topics such as the science and technology behind the Winter Olympic Games, planetary changes, water sustainability, and social and historic concepts. Each section features short (usually fewer than six minutes), informative videos produced by NBC News; they're brief enough to hold kids' interest and elicit questions. NBC Learn also excels at tying concepts together to create interesting clips; sports-minded students will love videos such as "The Science of NBC Football."
The site sections provide a decent overview of each topic, often offering historical background and scientific principle explanations. Videos from the '80s may look a little dated to kids, but they generally offer relevant information. The site's scanned articles aren't the most compelling element; many lack dynamic elements (and, in some cases, can be hard to read). But video clips, which comprise most of the site content, keep lessons lively by explaining concepts with commentary, imagery, and sounds. Many also include transcripts and closed-captioning, so kids can read along as they watch. Plus, there are color and size options available for captions, and all NBC-created videos feature Spanish captions, too. For kids who don't use NBC Learn at school, it would be nice to see a few more options for them to explore at home, as the free version is only a tiny sampling of the full content.
Families can talk about...
Discuss how news is covered. Can your child identify the who, what, when, where, and why elements in a newspaper article?
Ask your child to describe how articles from reputable news sources such as NBC differ from unsubstantiated articles on websites that don't list sources, references, or quotes. How can you tell if a website is a legitimate source of information?
Newspapers often feature editorials that express an opinion. Can your child identify some words or statements from sources interviewed on NBC Learn or another site that express opinion and don't necessarily focus on facts?
|Subjects:||Language & Reading: reading, using supporting evidence |
Science: engineering, chemistry, ecosystems
Social Studies: events, history
|Skills:||Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, investigation, part-whole relationships |
Self-Direction: academic development, personal growth
|Pricing structure:||Free to Try, Paid|