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School Librarian Saturday: Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius

In School Librarian Saturday, I’m going to share the websites, databases, apps, and other stuff I use with students in my K-5 teacher-librarian role, under the cover of internet darkness (see: the weekend).

Click here to see all the previous School Librarian Saturday posts

Today we have the digital media literacy website Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius (a part of the PBS Kids website).

What It Is: A site with animated videos, quizzes, games, and other activities focused on helping kids become more savvy (and ethical) users of technology.

What’s Good About It: The site is completely free. It’s broken into categories (Green Tech, Staying Safe, Living Online, etc.), which is nice for using in connection with specific lessons. It’s pretty substantial, with a good amount of content. There’s a simple Parents Guide section with summaries of each video for further discussion. And don’t underrate the fact that it’s funny. I typically use this site with 2nd and 3rd graders and the humor really helps make some important information stick.

What’s Bad About It: Tough to find a lot of negatives here (especially since it’s a completely free site), but since most of the content is videos, it would be nice if there were a few more interactive elements for engaging students.

Last Words: Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius is a solid site to use with students alongside digital citizenship instruction. I’ve used it for the last three years with 2nd and 3rd grade and it’s been well-received. Recommended.

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About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.