Filtering the news for our kids

It gushes out of multiple channels, often without any context.

For young people, especially those under 10 years, what passes for news is almost toxic. Our challenge is to find ways to keep them ‘well informed’ and yet not overwhelmed.

And of course, there’s no wonder app for that. Even the ones that promise to filter the crud (so-called ‘news aggregators‘ like FlowReader, Flipboard etc) are often accomplices when it comes to ‘TMI,’ or To Much Information.

But wait, there was once an filter for this which we have put to pasture. We called it ‘conversations.’ The human 1.0 app that helped us sift through day-to-day details, layering over the minutia with ‘big picture’ ideas, and cross-referencing them with stories.

We re-framed topics too ugly to ponder and yet too important to ignore. Children posed questions, and found answers to them at the dinner table. We didn’t need to fact-check everything on the spot because…. yes, you guessed it: Our conversations were not hijacked by a smart device sitting next to the casserole dish.

So I like to pose the question to you readers: ‘How do you filter the news for your kids? Common Sense Media has a useful guide for different age groups of children.

Whether you’re a teacher of a parent, I like to know. How do you filter the fire hose?


Deeper, faster reading with FastFlip, Flipboard, Apture and NewsGlide

I like to follow up on the article ‘Surfing in magazines, while swimming in print” (Communication World magazine, Nov-Dec 2009), with some useful developments in how knowledge that exists in the print world, is being pulled into the digital stream.

What’s really neat is how it could resemble the page-turning (or page flipping) experience. Four applications fascinate me:

PageFlip: Back in 2009, Google partnered with New York Times and Businessweek and others to create PageFlip. Check it here.

NewsGlide – The Chrome app at Huffingpost. It’s not exactly a magazine experience, but it’s like a cross between Flipboard (for the iPad) and Pageflip. Check it out here!

Flipboard: This iPad app is definitely worth checking out! I wrote about it here last year.

Apture. Finally a feature to give let web browser do a deeper dive –a ‘fluid dive’ they call it — when you’re reading online.  Publishers could add Apture to web pages to let users go beyond the content.