Common Sense Review
Updated March 2013

Thirteen Ed Online

This product is no longer available.
Treasure trove of engaging PBS-quality learning activities
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Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 3
  • In the Thirteen Ed Online Students section, kids can access educational PBS sites and games such as Cyberchase.
  • The Homework Hotline offers videos for many subjects.
  • Relevant videos span the science courses with interesting information.
  • Math lessons can be applied to all high school math courses.
  • The Education section includes a huge selection of projects and lesson plans organized by subject and grade range.
Pros
A totally versatile resource; there's just a ton of excellent content for students of all ages.
Cons
It's a challenge to find content related to a specific subject for the right age; it could be better organized.
Bottom Line
Offers lots of exciting activities to engage kids in learning, but kids may need guidance to navigate through all the great content.
Graphite Staff
Common Sense Reviewer
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

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.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

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 Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

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.

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

The site is a vast resource of educational materials and links to other educational PBS-affiliated websites. From the top navigation, you can access sections for Students, Educators, or Parents and Caregivers.

The Educators section is a rich resource for all teachers, and here the site truly shines. Links to PBS content let you integrate quality video into classroom activities. With a huge selection of projects and lesson plans organized by subject and grade range, it should delight novice and master teachers alike.

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What's It Like?

Editor's Note: The website Thirteen Ed Online is no longer being updated and is now known as WNET Education.

Thirteen Ed Online is an educational website from Thirteen/WNET New York, PBS's flagship station. The site features animated games for interactive play, educational videos, homework help, and an extensive collection of teacher resources. It also offers interactive educational games with cartoon characters and printable activity sheets that range in subject and targeted age, some of them designed to coordinate with the videos or the PBS Kids TV series "Cyberchase."

There's also a link to a complete help section for taking the New York state Regents exams, the state tests given to high school students in every academic subject. The section includes subject-specific instructional videos as well as test-taking tips that are useful for all similar exams. An Educators section offers many detailed lesson plans that include videos and classroom handouts. Many of the classroom projects use PBS videos as learning supplements or link to other sites such as PBS Teachers, which provides a major haul of teaching resources for all grades and subjects.

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Is It Good For Learning?

There's something for every student, which is both good news and bad news. With so many options, all educational and engaging, it's difficult to find the features that are age-appropriate and targeted to a specific subject. The site covers most subjects, from book reviews by and for kids to science experiments and even art, but none provide a target grade range, and there's no hierarchical order to help kids navigate from one activity to the next.

Once the information is located, however, there’s certainly no lack of it. The Students section offers learning options for all ages –- from "Franny's Feet," a multidiscipline educational game for young kids, to GED and adult education information. The featured game on the Students page is located at Cyberchase, the Web version of the PBS TV math series for kids 5-12 featuring real-world math and problem-solving. The tabs at the top of the page link to more videos and activities with printable worksheets. Kids can also access The Homework Hotline, a section of informative videos for middle school kids.

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