I was tagged in this Twitter message yesterday.
This is CBC Kids News! A website for kids, with information they want to know. Real Kids. Real News. https://t.co/TB7ogZErYc @CanTeachersFed @ScholasticTeach @gcouros @shareski @davidwees @joe_bower @thecleversheep @dougpete @chrkennedy @dumper45 pic.twitter.com/k7OD1jWnlP
— CBC Kids News (@CBCKidsNews) September 17, 2018
So, I had to check it out. https://www.cbc.ca/kidsnews//
My first impression was that I had ended up in the wrong place. After all, everything from the CBC is normally very red! Sorry, CBC.
This site was actually full of colour and actually quite attractive and engaging. I can see how the design would reach out to younger (and not so younger) kids. But what about the content. That always trumps design.
There really is a place for a news service devoted to students and student research. Traditional news sites deliver news for a large audience. At times, that can be a challenge for some age groups with some of the very adult topics that need to be covered.
When I visited the site, I found these stories…
- Rising Star: Devery Jacobs
- NFL player quits during halftime
- What happened on this day? (Quiz)
- In one month, this drug will be legal in Canada
- The Grizzlies: A true story
- A Park for Becca
- Does this narwhal think it’s a beluga?
- Canada’s thrilling ride at the Little League World Series
- #Humboldt strong
- Force of nature: hurricane gathering strength
and then, of course, the ever present web “More” button. Each of the stories clearly had a publish date which is so important in any use of digital media.
Noticeably missing from what we would expect to see on any news site was any story about politics or international issues. It may have just been the day but I found it nicely refreshing. I did notice that David Wees had checked in recommending that there be stories included about climate change. That’s a good recommendation but it might just be a consequence of the date that we visited. I could also see a daily mathematics puzzle and a topic dealing with digital literacy and security aimed at this specific audience being popular.
There’s no question that you’re leaving the safety of the site. If only all services helped in this manner.
I found the use of imagery very helpful and should serve to engage students on the various topics. What I noticed missing and I think would be very helpful for students wishing to include stories in their research is an option to copy a citation text to encourage the proper use and citation of external media for their projects. Right now, visitors can also evaluate each of the pages that they visit for helpfulness.
As I’m writing this post with the website open in another tab, one story was added to the landing page.
- This little piggy went to the operating room
The net effect was to shuffle the content and the hurricane story got bumped to the second page. (where I did find an Ontario politics story)
I would think that this site would be well served by bookmarking and making it a reference or starting point for events of the day, particularly for a younger audience.