A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Youngzine isn't only a current events magazine for young people -- it's a supportive, interactive learning community. Adult moderators show up all over the place, from registration to original summary articles to responses to comments and achievements. Some kids do use their full names or ages, but their locations aren't revealed. It's a gentle news source for kids and tweens who want to keep up on issues and maybe throw their own opinions into the ring.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
At first glance, Youngzine is an online magazine featuring current events, games, videos, and comics compiled and written by thoughtful in-house editors. Dig deeper and you'll find "young editors" and kid members authoring content from jokes to commentary on recent news stories and all types of contests from news quizzes to mystery photos and visual story prompts. After creating an account, kids can comment liberally on articles and debate with each other, but the supportive guidance of moderators is everpresent. Kids also can earn points and badges through exploration and contribution. The site is updated daily, though kids can view content archives as well.
Is it any good?
Youngzine's blog-style presentation is simple and sophisticated, and it's definitely accessible to its kid audience -- especially in the U Write, U Chat section and contest areas where kids can submit nearly any kind of original writing, photos, and videos of creative projects, personal stories, or even media reviews. The quality of kid contributions is quite high overall, and the grown-up written articles are clear as well (although a few grammatical errors appear from time to time). The most exciting thing about Youngzine, though, is that kids are actually engaging with the sometimes-dry news content; comments follow nearly every single article, joke, and review. It's great to see this positive response, and it's a testament to the welcoming community created by the developers.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Subjects: Language & Reading: discussion, forming arguments, presenting to others, reading comprehension, storytelling, writing, writing clearly
Science: animals, engineering, ecosystems, weather
Social Studies: citizenship, cultural understanding, events, exploration, geography, global awareness, government, historical figures, power structures
Arts: dance, music, rhythm
Hobbies: cooking, sports
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, asking questions, decision-making, logic, thinking critically
Creativity: brainstorming, combining knowledge, imagination, producing new content
Self-Direction: academic development, achieving goals, effort, initiative, personal growth
Emotional Development: empathy, self-awareness
Communication: asking questions, conveying messages effectively, friendship building, listening, multiple forms of expression, presenting
Responsibility & Ethics: respect for others
Tech Skills: using and applying technology
- Genre: Educational