Common Sense Review
Updated November 2016

KQED

Great news and classroom resources support both teachers and students
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Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 5
  • KQED has a variety of educational resources for teachers and students.
  • MindShift focuses on the future of digital learning.
  • The Lowdown connects the newsroom to the classroom.
  • Do Now is a weekly activity for students to engage in and respond to current issues.
  • This section highlights successful teacher practices.
Pros
High quality content, and the blogs -- each addressing different educational subjects -- are outstanding.
Cons
Site navigation can be a bit confusing; it's hard to tell what's for kids and what's for teachers.
Bottom Line
With some organizational adjustments, the site could be an exceptional place for both kids and teachers to find educational inspiration.
Polly Conway
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

Rich, thought-provoking content on a variety of subjects should keep kids interested. With a tighter design, the site could make its great material easier to access.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

As kids read and respond to big issues, they're also learning to be active members of the community. The Do Now activity encourages teens to get involved using social media.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

PBS-affiliated resources are linked to throughout the site. There isn't much help available, but video and audio material makes content accessible to kids with varied learning styles.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

There are a number of resources and lesson plans you can use in the classroom that are available on the main pages. Science is the subject with the most content; standards-based climate change lessons are available, or you can take a visit under the sea with Jean-Michel Cousteau. The lessons on the main pages are a little disorganized, but if you look around, you will find high-quality materials.

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What's It Like?

KQED is a website aligned with San Francisco's public radio and TV station that offers a variety of educational media for kids of all ages. Their goal is to engage with community and educational organizations to broaden and deepen the impact of KQED media to effect positive change. The site is divided into sections like Radio, News, Arts, Science, and Education. You can also view resources like Blogs, Programs, Tools & Trainings, and Community Voices.

Within the site are several blogs, each with a different angle on educational topics. The KQED Learning blog contains something called Do Now, a weekly activity that asks students to respond to current issues using social media. MindShift focuses on new technology and the future of learning. Most of the content here is directed toward teachers and parents to better serve kids; it's not necessarily a place kids can go to easily find games or activities.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Students can learn about current events as well as find lessons on subjects like art, social studies, and science. They'll also learn what it means to be part of a community; the site encourages discourse among users, especially teens. In the Digital Tools section, students can get the tools and training to create the kind of media they see on KQED, and they're invited to think about how they'd go about presenting the news.

Kids will learn by reading and responding to news articles, blog posts, and videos on today's pressing issues. Using social media, they can discuss ideas with other teens, sharing opinions and thoughts on how to change the world. The site will expose kids to a variety of viewpoints and social challenges; kids can use critical-thinking skills to form their own ideas. It would be nice if they clarified their target audience -- if the site is for students and teachers, then specific content for each needs to be better organized.

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See how teachers are using KQED

Lesson Plans