Websites are important sources of information for different age sets. As such, they provide guidance, entertainment and lessons on how different age groups can relate to each other. According to Cannon (2016), the suitability of Childrens websites lies in the way they display information and the purpose for which the information is intended. In this regard, websites that are intended for children are supposed to display information that is understandable to them and which does not contain any adult content. Additionally, such websites should also be educative as well as entertaining (Cannon, 2016). This is because children do not like boring information. They mostly love learning from visuals. As such, websites that contain graphics are more liked by children than those that do not. These visuals should be for the purposes of providing guidance to the children as well as offering entertainment and a way of keeping them happy. An important example of a website that contains information that is intended for the consumption of children is the PBS Kids.
There are also other websites that are meant for adults and which contain information that is not meant for children but adults. Specifically, these websites provide information of an adults nature and which may seem offensive to children (Nesset, 2016). Additionally, the information that they contain is different from that which is contained in the kids websites. More important, parents websites provide information on how parents can be able to guide their children and teach them to become good people as they grow up. This information contains more weight than that which is in childrens websites. One example of such kind of website, which is suitable for both children and parents, is Nick junior. This paper is going to focus on the differences between the two websites as well as the advantages associated with them. Further, it will look at the strengths and weaknesses of the two sites and further, enumerate their pitfalls. Before the end of the research, the researcher will state two possible activities that can be implemented in the classroom based in the information from PBS Kids and Nick Junior websites.
PBS Kids is a children programming brand company website that is aired in the United States, Mexico and Canada and owned by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) (Pbskids.org, 2016). Founded in July 1994, PBS Kids was previously known as PTV before it changed its name to PBS Kids in 1999. The website content is headquartered in Virginia and airs exclusive children programs that are meant to educate and entertain little children. The website has some other information that is intended for parents and teachers as well. As such, it caters for the interest of the children, their teachers and the parents. Indeed, it is a wholesome station that is very important for little children. According to Pbskids.org (2016), The programs that are aired by PBS Kids station include; Arthur, Mack and Moxy, Thomas Edisons Secret Lab, Space Racers, The cat in the hat knows a lot about that, Daniel Tigers Neighborhood, Martha Speaks, Nature Speaks, among other many programs. Before the entry of other kids websites, PBS kids enjoyed monopoly as the only station with quality children programming. However, today other companies such as Brash Upstart Nickelodeon have rivaled it.
Owned by Viacom media networks, Nick Junior is an American digital-cable satellite television-channel website that was launched on October 1999 by the name Noggin. However, it subsequently changed its name to Nick Jr in the 28th day of October 2009 (Patrol et al., 2016). The target audience for the channel is the kids of between 2 and 6 years old. The channel has a block promotion program known as Nick, The Smart Place To Play which is mainly aired during the summer periods, school breaks and the long school holidays when most children are likely to be watching. In 2011, the Viacom media network that owns the station website opened two other stations in Asia and which are aired on a 24-hour daily basis. Additionally, according to Patrol et al. (2016), its versions are also available in other countries such as Germany, United Kingdom, France, and India Italy among others. Further, the station has sister stations which air similar content and which are based in different countries all around the world.
Strengths and Weaknesses of the Websites
The two channels have their websites, which contain information about their operations, viewership and schedules. These websites have their own strengths and weaknesses. In the following paragraphs, this paper is going to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of PBS Kids and Nick Junior websites.
PBS Kids is a website that has diverse programs and contents for different people. In this regard, it contains information for teachers, parents and more importantly, children. The website has subdivisions where an individual will be able to access information depending on whether he/she belongs to the three categories. This is strength as all this information is contained in one website for three different parties can obtain information. The other strength of the website is the content that it contains. In this regard, PBS kids have many graphics in the home page, which are very appealing to children who visit the site. As such, these graphics have the ability of attracting many children who may be captivated by the visuals that appear in the home page of the website. The fact that an individual can download the application of PBS kids from the internet and play games is another major strength of the PBS Kids websites. Notwithstanding the other strengths, PBS Kids websites boast of a variety of programs that it airs vial online streaming. This diversity is beyond fellow competitors who only air a few of them. Additionally, the diverse programs give the children every program that they want at any time of the day. Specifically, the ability to offer videos, cartoons and writers contests for children is a great strength.
Nick juniors strengths lie with its ability to naturalize the videos and other visuals that are contained in its website. Specifically, most of the graphics used by this website are very natural as they are placed in gardens and other natural areas such as forests (Patrol et al., 2016). Its content is also strength for the website. The Teenick program that is watched world over has gained a lot of love among the children hence bringing the website a lot of popularity. Further, its ability to be watched in different countries around the worlds is a strength that it can boast of. Unlike other websites, Nick Jr is very captivating from its content and passion of the characters in its programs. Its diversity in programming makes it better positioned than other websites that in competition (Patrol et al., 2016). More importantly, its presence in a number of countries ensures that it enjoys a huge audience.
Despite the strengths that the two websites exhibit, they also have weaknesses that make them disadvantageous. In this regard, only rich families who have the ability to teach their children on information technology can use the two websites. In this regard, the level of sophistication of the two websites means that only those who are techno-savvy will benefit from the information contained in these websites (Cannon, 2016). In such a scenario, poor families who have no access to the internet will not feel the importance of the websites. Notably, kids from rich families can sometimes outdo the teachers when it comes to technology. However, their counterparts from poor backgrounds have trouble in the use of internet. As such, according to Cannon (2016), it is correct to conclude that the websites can only be used, and thus can only help the young kids who can use the internet and whose parents can afford it.
The other weakness that disadvantages the websites is the lack of tracking from the parents. In this regard, there is no chance for the parents to monitor the activities of the kids when they use the internet. In the opinion of Cannon (2016), despite the tender age of the children, monitoring them is very important especially when they are using the internet. This is necessitated by the fact that children have the tendency of exploration. This can lead to them watching and viewing contents that is meant for adults. As such, the fact that the parents cannot be able to monitor and limit what the little children watch can be very dangerous.
Competition is another weakness that these two websites have. In this case, they face competition from other companies, which have popped out. Although the two websites offer exclusive content to their audience, others are also promising and have a significant number of audiences. Notably, as more websites offering childrens content increase, competition will be more and the target audience would continue to decrease. As such, the two websites should change tact so that they can be able to ward off competition from the other websites, which are attracting more attention.
The mixing of children content with that of parents and teachers is another weakness that these two websites have. In this regard, the websites contain information that can be accessed by the children, their teachers as well as the parents (Cannon, 2016). Although this is a good move as the information can be accessed in the same website, it has its own demerits. In this regard, children can be tempted to view the information meant for the parents or the teachers, which is improper. Although the purposes of the websites are to guide and educate, it should be within the confines of morality and age of the children.
What I Can Implement In the Classroom
Based on the information that is contained in these two sites, I can implement several things in the classroom. First is the aspect of the use of visuals for educating the little children. From the two sites, it is clear that any information that needs to be passed to a young child should be done with graphics. In this regard, apart from educating them, graphic are entertaining. As such, it will be easier to catch and maintain the attention of the children. Additionally, I will have an easier time passing on the concepts to them. Notably, just as young children love toys, they also love to see objects that represent them in those visuals. As such, my introduction should be based on the cartoon that the children like most. Thereafter, I can get to the agenda of the day. This way, the children will be attentive and keen to know the implications of the use of a certain graphic.
Although the use of visuals is important, I have also learnt from the websites that the use of those visuals should be related to the topic. In this regard, I should connect the visuals that I show to the students with the subject matter of the lesson. This way I shall have achieved several things. First, I shall have passed the message well and clear to the children. Secondly, I will get the attention of the children and thirdly, I will provide entertainment to them, which is beneficial for their continued understanding. Further, the visuals should not be ambiguous. They should be simple graphics that the children will be able to understand with ease. Any use of complicated images will negate the ability of the children to grasp the information that I will be passing to them. As such, the use of visuals should not only be relevant but should also be simple and contextualized.
To conclude, websites are important sources of information for parents, teachers and children. As such, if used properly they are good aids of learning. However, websites that provide childrens content should be wary of the age and the...
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