What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Paper.li is an online platform that lets users create their own newspaper made up of content found on the Web. As with many of these online newspaper/magazine creators, there's a lot of inappropriate content floating around. Popular papers include "The Model XCams Daily," and a search for "sex" brings up lots of graphic imagery.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- reading comprehension
- using supporting evidence
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- collecting data
- thinking critically
- combining knowledge
- producing new content
Responsibility & Ethics
- following codes of conduct
- digital creation
- social media
- using and applying technology
Engagement, Approach, Support
It's fun to choose a subject and watch as the content appears in your paper and updates over time. The design is really clean, and the papers are easy to read.
Kids will be empowered by creating their own paper, especially if they get to choose the topic. While they're playing around, they'll also be reading articles, making decisions, and thinking about how to customize their papers.
Though there's a help page, forums, two blogs, and more, it's still not immediately obvious what the site's function is and how to participate.
What's it about?
PAPER.LI makes it fairly easy to gather information from the Web into your own newspaper or magazine. To start your paper, click the Create a Paper button. You'll choose a name, a topic, and any description; then you'll be taken to a dashboard. Type in a topic -- for example, \"cats\" -- as well as the source you'd like the content to come from (options include Twitter, Facebook, RSS, YouTube, and more). A list of links will appear; choose the ones you'd like to add to your paper by clicking the plus sign next to each. When you've added all the sources, Paper.li will take a few minutes to \"print\" your paper, bringing together all those links into a tidy page. Papers are visually customizable; you can choose formats and fonts to personalize design.
Is it any good?
Although Paper.li isn't your average newspaper, it can give kids some idea of how traditional journalism works, and curating content works in a similar way to how many online publications now function. Paper.li may be helpful for kids who really want to keep up on a particular subject, but the site can be a bit finicky and requires a lot of adjustment to produce the right content.
Overall, it's a novel and interesting way for kids to gather and curate informaiton on the Web. However, the "Staff Picks" are kind of odd; are "Equestrian Express" and "NCIS Fanatic" really the best examples Paper.li has to offer? You also have to be careful about which sources you choose, as your paper will continue to draw from those sites even if their scopes change. A site may have an article on Harry Potter one day, but the next day it may have an article on something entirely different -- your paper doesn't know the difference and will populate with whatever content is new.
Families can talk about...
Talk to your kids about the way information is shared on the Internet; for example, a story may start on one site and then spread to 100 others.
If you're still a subscriber, check out the local newspaper with your kids. What kinds of articles do they publish?