New this week: PBS Kids Go! has launched it’s Digital Citizenship Initiative, which coincides with National Cyber Security Month and National Bullying Prevention Month, both in October. A new interactive, FREE online game for tweens called Webonauts Internet Academy has been launched. According to their website: “Webonauts Internet Academy is a web original game for PBS KIDS GO! that gives kids 8- to 10-year-old an opportunity to have some fun while exploring what it means to be a citizen in a web-infused‚ information-rich world. It is an engaging experience on its own but becomes all the more powerful when parents and teachers use game play as a springboard for conversations about media literacy and citizenship in the 21st Century.”
Aha! They use they recommend children interacting with parents and teachers, which makes this a great co-viewing opportunity. They also have pages with Tips for Parents and Tips for Educators, which give you a better sense of how they hope this game can open up the conversation for kids.
According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation Report, 74% of kids between 7th-12th grades have a profile on a social networking site. This game is aimed to arm tweens with internet safey knowledge before they become immersed in it. Parents of tweens and teens out there: Do you talk to your kids at all about internet safety? Please comment!
In the mid-90’s, I worked on a show called “The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss.” It was a Jim Henson production, filled with fantastical Seuss-like muppets, funny songs, and crazy plotlines. That show was on Nickelodeon for two years and then canned. I won’t go into the hairy details of why this happened (my ruminations on the TV business could be a whole other blog!) but suffice it to say, I have a soft spot in my heart for Dr. Seuss on TV.
So I can rejoice now, because Dr. Seuss is back! This time on PBS, with a show called The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That. The NY Times had a nice review of it today. Martin Short is voicing the Cat, which is a perfect choice. The show focuses on Science learning. Take note, fellow co-viewers, of PBS’s Parent Page for the show, with Viewing Tips!
This brings up a great point. Did you know that almost all kids shows on TV today have websites where you can find extra resources? What a great way to explore and extend what your child has been learning already while you watch with them! Each kids TV show goes through great lengths to create these outreach materials, so please use them. They might have coloring pages to print out, arts and crafts activities, on-line games or… (co-)VIEWING TIPS! I am pretty sure that most of my parent friends have no idea that these things actually exist. To find them, simply Google the name of the show your child is crazy about. No doubt the network that hosts the show has several “extras” to share with you.