A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Kids can learn about sensible cell phone and Internet use, including posting photos on websites; conducting searches for information; and texting. Videos and written sections explain safety best practices and encourage kids to limit the amount of time they spend using digital media. Polls let kids express themselves and gain a little exposure to percentage-based math. Quizzes can help build logic and critical-thinking skills. A mix of visual and reading-based activities will help kids of varying ages understand the information, and the activities weave humor into helpful information to keep the message from being boring. Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius is a solid, simple introduction to the challenging world of digital media.
Kids learn about responsible digital media use.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ruff Ruffman, PBS's helpful canine "media genius," teaches kids about responsible digital media use, ranging from photo-posting best practices to texting, on the site. Kids can create a PBS Kids account, but it's not required to access any of the site content. (In fact, they can't save quiz scores, even if they do register.) If they do choose to create an account, they'll need to enter a username, which kids are told shouldn't contain any personal information. They're then given a randomly generated password and select a picture-based secret code, in case they forget it.
Is It Any Good?
Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius provides a basic overview of several popular digital media uses, ranging from safe Internet searches to texting and posting appropriate content on websites.
The videos and other items feature a kid-friendly tone, music, and intermittent jokes, and they're short enough to hold kids' interest. The tips are mostly general media use guidelines -- for example, avoid posting things that would embarrass you or someone else. As a result, the site content likely will work best for younger children; it doesn't go into in-depth detail about some of the more nuanced situations tweens or older digital media users may come across. However, the site -- which PBS designed for kids age 6 to 11 -- can serve as a helpful introduction to responsible media use practices before those circumstances arise.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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