Thirteen Ed Online

 

Learning(i)

PBS site for kids and adults has learning for everyone.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Though most of the videos and activities are purely content oriented, some also carry messages of ethical behavior and friendship. 

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

References on the site are made to PBS kids educational programs and links to paid tie-ins (like a subscription for a kids show online) are clearly labeled and optional. Links to other product tie-ins are there but they are subtle and are for related educational products.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The site doesn't collect any personal data and is very careful with what it does use. The Educator Home page has links to Facebook and Twitter, where the usual precautions are in order. The Students page, where most kids would start, does not have these links.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids of any age can safely use this PBS-affiliated educational website for learning, but the site design and navigation makes it feel more like a parent and teacher resource than a destination for kids. The site's privacy policy is tight and PBS takes such things seriously. While it's not always easy to find what you're looking for, there's no real harm in letting kids surf the site. In fact, surfing may turn up surprises of interest, all of which are educational, and that's part of the fun. Younger kids could get lost in this process and may need some guidance to direct them to age-appropriate content.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • storytelling
  • vocabulary

Math

  • arithmetic
  • geometry
  • counting
  • measurement
  • estimation
  • numbers
  • fractions
  • algebra
  • shapes

Science

  • life cycle
  • chemistry
  • measurement
  • physics
  • energy
  • animals
  • weather

Social Studies

  • history
  • events
  • geography
  • government
  • historical figures

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation
  • logic
  • making conclusions
  • problem solving
  • strategy
  • thinking critically
  • applying information

Self-Direction

  • effort
  • academic development

Health & Fitness

  • exercise
  • fitness
  • preventing sickness

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The website contains a wealth of interactive and engaging educational activities, games, and jumping-off points for kids of all ages. Each activity will keep kids tuned in, but finding a specific activity may be a challenge.

Learning Approach

With a variety of activities and levels that promote lifelong learning, kids can grow along with Thirteen Ed offerings. Like many PBS properties, it features diverse, relatable characters as well.

Support

Everything educational can be found here, but you have to search. The links in the Students section are for adults and kids, but the descriptions of the kids' links don't give enough information for kids to easily find what they want.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • storytelling
  • vocabulary

Math

  • arithmetic
  • geometry
  • counting
  • measurement
  • estimation
  • numbers
  • fractions
  • algebra
  • shapes

Science

  • life cycle
  • chemistry
  • measurement
  • physics
  • energy
  • animals
  • weather

Social Studies

  • history
  • events
  • geography
  • government
  • historical figures

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation
  • logic
  • making conclusions
  • problem solving
  • strategy
  • thinking critically
  • applying information

Self-Direction

  • effort
  • academic development

Health & Fitness

  • exercise
  • fitness
  • preventing sickness

There's something for kids of all ages here, from basic numbers to trigonometry, and all academic subjects. The site includes an astounding range of videos and activities. Just with random surfing, kids will be surprised by the numerous items they may pause to watch or interact with just because they are fun, though they will also learn something in the process. Thirteen Ed Online offers lots of exciting activities to engage kids in learning, but kids might need some guidance to find content that best meets their learning needs.

This Learning Rating review was written by Lynne Glasner

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What's it about?

From the top navigation, visitors can access sections for Students, Educators, or Parents and Caregivers. The Students section of the site offers learning options for all ages, from educational games for young kids to GED and adult education information. Kids can also access The Homework Hotline, a section of informative videos for middle school kids. Tabs at the top of the page link to videos as well as activities with printable worksheets. The Parents and Caregivers section features links to guides and resources to help enhance kids' learning.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

THIRTEEN ED ONLINE is a PBS-sponsored collection of some of the best educational web content around. Most of the links take visitors to other websites, all of which offer solid educational materials. Thirteen Ed Online divides the content for basic age groups from preschool to adults. While these broad categories can be hard to navigate, each is age appropriate and facilitates learning. The information for parents is helpful, especially for those with younger kids. For those kids who already watch PBS TV shows, the site offers supplemental material that will keep them tuned in. For middle school kids, there's nothing wrong with surfing and playing the video games, all of which have excellent educational content related to school work. And even if it's not directly related to what kids are doing in school at the time, there's still much learning to be had.

Families can talk about...

  • Show your high school kids the test prep tips and guides. Ask them questions to get them thinking about their own test-taking strategies. How do you feel on test day? What strategies do you use to get ready for a big test? Are any of these tips new to you?

  • Use the parent information section to guide young kids in using the games and reinforcing the content. Suggest they look at a game that challenges a subject or skill that's challenging for your kids. Math may not seem so daunting when experienced in the context of a game.

Website details

Genre:Educational
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Thirteen Ed Online was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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.

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