Site URL: MSN.com
This is one in a series of site reviews that take a look at how major news Web sites can be used in the classroom. See also reviews of HuffingtonPost.com, GoogleNews.com, CNN.com, AOL.com, MSNBC.com, FoxNews.com and Yahoo.com.
Content: MSN.com has extensive content through both its editorial staff and its extensive content partnerships. The site offers an extensive news report across all the traditional news areas. It also has a large amount of lifestyle content, some produced by partners and some by in-house staff.
Design: A very simple site, MSN.com features horizontal main navigation on two levels, with the top row of buttons leading to the major sections like “news” or “sports.” The “above-the-fold” section of the site features a scroller filled with major stories. The scroller offers a mix of news, sports, entertainment and lifestyle content. Editors’ picks sit below that, followed by tab-based content boxes for the major content areas.
Review: The only drawback to MSN.com for your students is that like Yahoo.com, this is not a pure news site. MSN.com will therefore expose kids to non-news content. Otherwise, MSN.com has easy-to-use navigation and offers a very comprehensive news report from credible sources.
Bottom Line: MSN has a clean, simple look and feel and would make a fine choice for use in the classroom or for home-based research projects. The site does not aggregate stories from questionable sources like Google News, so you know your students will be reading the work of a real reporter, not a blogger or someone who hasn’t done actual reporting.
Article by Daniel B. Kline, EducationWorld Contributing Editor
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