The Electric Company

Common Sense Media says

Cool word games add extra challenge to friendly edu-site.

Age(i)

2
3
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5
6
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8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Users will find friendly faces who offer a lot of positive encouragement as they take on various spelling, language, and grammar challenges. The message is that language arts is cool, fun, and funny.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Users can set up their own profile, but their options are strictly limited to selecting a username as well as their favorite show personality (whose picture appears on the profile).

 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this companion site to the television show is a stimulating place for grade-schoolers to learn reading skills such as letter sounds, spelling, and grammar. Guided by the friendly faces from the TV show, the site offers educational games, vignettes from the show and behind-the-scenes glimpses into the people behind the characters. Kids will need basic reading skills to enjoy the site.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics
  • reading
  • spelling
  • vocabulary

Math

  • numbers
  • counting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • part-whole relationships
  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • personal growth

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • listening

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Kids will enjoy choosing a show character to represent them as they play interactive games. Zany sounds, narration, and other elements make activities interesting. Kids can also register to save videos and other items.

Learning Approach

Kids will identify sounds in words and understand how words and sentences are formed as they play games. Video mash-up creation and other activities encourage creativity.

Support

Teachers can access more than 35 lesson plan and activity ideas, listed by grade level and skill. The show sometimes also hosts community outreach events, which are listed on the site. Activities based on various episodes are also available.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics
  • reading
  • spelling
  • vocabulary

Math

  • numbers
  • counting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • part-whole relationships
  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • personal growth

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • listening

Kids can learn basic reading skills by putting together compound words, adding prefixes and suffixes, and sorting words by the sounds they make. On this companion site to the PBS television series, kids can play a variety of games that playfully teach kids how words are formed and changed. Games about reading and spelling basics are encouraging, but kids may want more challenging levels. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Conny Coon

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

Like the TV show, the website uses animation and real characters as guides. By completing various reading and spelling games, kids collect “volts” to mark their progress. Through game play and engaging graphics, kids put together compound words, add silent vowels, play with prefixes and suffixes, and explore sounds that letters make. Characters from the television show offer instruction and encouragement, and since kids choose which character they're collecting volts for, there's an added competitive element.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Parents may fondly recall The Electric Company television show from their youth. The updated version is just as upbeat, educational, and kid-friendly as the 1970’s version, but is far more visually appealing and engaging thanks to modern-day animation, CGI, and effects. Like the TV show, the Web site features colorfully cute animation, photo-and-illustration montages and four real characters who guide users through the various areas of the site. With the help of the on-screen actors and simple, easy-to-follow audio instructions, visitors can view a variety of sketches from the television show, get glimpses into what happens behind the scenes and play assorted word games that help build vocabulary and teach language skills. The site is upbeat, encouraging and full of fun characters and activities that will keep kids so interested they may not realize they’re learning at the same time. Even parents will get a charge out what this new Electric Company offers.

Online interaction: Although users create profiles and can view the profiles of other users, there's no personal information revealed in any of the profiles and there's no user interaction.

Families can talk about...

  • How online games can help reinforce some of the language lessons kids learn in school and through educational television programming. How does this help you learn better?

  • Why it’s so much fun to have a competitive element to online games and learning, such as the point system on this site. How does collecting “volts” add to the experience of learning and playing games? How can you ensure you’re not spending too much time playing these games?

  • Why it’s important to maintain a healthy balance when it comes to online entertainment -- even when you’re spending time with positive media such as educational television programs and online learning games.

Website details

Genre:Fan Sites
Pricing structure:Free

This review of The Electric Company was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old March 9, 2011
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

BEST SHOW EVER

I love it:) i watch it almost ever time its on:)
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 14 years old Written byjustin bieber 43 January 3, 2011
AGE
17
QUALITY
 
hi
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 9 years old December 24, 2010
AGE
6
QUALITY
 
i love it it is so fun for my kid to watch it it is the only show he wants to watch he thinks its the best show
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages

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