Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius Website Poster Image
Digital-media dog offers a super primer for young users.

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Kids say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

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Educational Value

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.

Positive Messages

Kids learn about responsible digital media use.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

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There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 10 years old December 19, 2015

Replaces Original

This replaced the original. I need my games!
Kid, 12 years old February 6, 2015

I Watch and So Should You!

I know this looks like a cheesy mess, but you're wrong. This is a bunch of two minute clips that will put a smile on everybody's face (there's a... Continue reading

What's it about?

RUFF RUFFMAN: HUMBLE MEDIA GENIUS is a digital-literacy project-based website from PBS KIDS. Using animation and interactive elements, Ruff -- an energetic cartoon dog who knows his way around the Internet -- teaches kids about safe and responsible texting, Internet searches, posting photos, and other general digital use topics, such as limiting the amount of time you spend online. Instruction is provided in a variety of formats, including videos, written recaps that outline key lesson points, and quizzes that offer detailed explanations with each answer to help drive the point home.

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. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can discuss how to stay safe when using the Internet. What kind of information should you never share with people you talk to or meet online?

  • Talk about posting photos on sites like Facebook. Can your child identify several things that shouldn't be shown, such as your street or home address, in an image shared with the general public? 

  • Responsible digital media use also involves posting positive messages and responses. What words or phrases might hurt someone else's feelings and should be avoided?

Website details

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