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Parents' Guide to

Room for Debate

By Stephanie Trautman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Variety of experts debate topics, but depth, info limited.

Room for Debate Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this website.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

An Interesting Tool for Debate

I found this tool so helpful to my students to understand the debate procedures and structure. Students also Learnt a lot from this tool the debate diction and technical terms which they used in their assessments. I think this is an interesting tool to support and enrich students' background knowledge about debate and feed them with higher level of thinking skills.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

There are some debates and some content started already on this discussion site, but their accuracy and impact are pretty limited. There are pockets of content that are strong; for example, there's some good content on Haiti that brings up issues kids might not have considered, and there are some (highly technical) questions about Web development that might appeal to some more tech-minded types.

That being said, there's really not a lot here, and there aren't good safeguards in place (such as dedicated moderators) to prevent debates and discussions from devolving into the same flame wars you might find in comment sections or on social media elsewhere. Further, the panelists on the site's premade content have limited authority and don't make especially compelling arguments; few cite credible sources or offer cogent arguments, and they don't offer models that kids or adults should emulate. Additionally, the debates and discussions that include back-and-forths are a little tough to read; it's hard to tell visually which post responds to which. Further, the image-search feature brings up some iffy content when you create your own debates and discussions, making this a questionable resource for the classroom. Overall, this is a great concept for a site, but look elsewhere for a rich experience to support kids' developing debating skills.

Website Details

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