Category: Well-Being | Human Interest

What News Should Students Use?

It is important to ‘stay informed’ about what is happening in our local communities and globally. What goes on around us effects our lives and those we care about. Knowledge also equips us to stand up for others that may not have a voice.

A good start to understanding the issues is talking to parents and teachers about current events.  Discussions with friends can also help in broadening our horizons.

News Facts

In modern democratic societies, NEWS has become a primary source for people to learn about their immediate surroundings and the personal awareness of each individual spreads outward… from our local community – to our neighborhood – to our county, town or city – to our country and the entire world. In the age of the internet where information is immediately available and news is instant, it’s never been more important to decipher fact from fiction and the truth from unfounded rumors.

Before online access to any type information, you’d hear the phrase “you can’t believe everything you read’. Today, the phrase has been more commonly stated as “you can’t believe everything you read on the internet“. There are also human interest stories that are not necessarily breaking news (news that has just happened) but interesting stories that keep people entertained.

It really comes down to getting ‘the facts’ straight. So how does a person know what is true and that which is just someone’s opinion or even worse – unfounded rumors. We have come to trust journalists and news reporters to give us correct information but it is still important to get the right information from reliable sources.

The Five W’s of News

When News happens, these Five W’s need to be answered correctly.

  • Who?
  • What?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • Why?

Many will also answer a sixth question.

  • How?

So it is really the Five W’s and an ‘H. The more complicated the news story is, the greater research needs to be done to get all the information correct. For the journalist, this means it will take more words (and time) to explain the issue. This poses a problem for many news outlets, which we will explain in a moment.

So what are the news sources available for us to gain knowledge about what is happening on a daily basis?

Types of News

First, let us explore the different types of news ‘geographically’. Then, we will look at the best sources to get information about these various areas.

Local News – what is being reported on in your town or city.

Regional News – refers to news in your state (or province), as well as the a number of bordering states that make up a region.

National News – what is happening in the entire country.

World News – what is talking place in the rest of the world.

To gather news that is happening in these various geographical regions, you will need to explore the different news sources available.  For example, to learn about what is happening locally, you will want to seek out a local news source.  This will be a local radio or television station that features local news, or a newspaper publication that is delivered to your door.  On your smart phone, you can download a app for a local newspaper that allows you to set your news to see only stories that are relevant to your town or city.

Local news sources will also feature some information about events happening elsewhere, but it may not be as in depth since their focus is on local news. To hear more about national news, you will need to find a national newscast.  To learn more about the entire world, you may want to download an app from BBC news which is out of the UK but tends to be more globally focused in their news reporting.  The news source you are accessing will determine what type of stories are being delivered to you.

News Sources – Pro’s and Con’s

As mentioned, the more in depth a news story is, the more time it will take to explain all the details of Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How?  In this way, some news sources do a better job of it.

Newspapers

This is often the best way to get your news because newspapers (delivered to your door and sold at the local convenience store) do not have a limit on space to explain the 5 W’s and the H of a story.  This also means you will need to spend more time reading it but the reward is that you will be better informed.

News Apps

With the internet, there is a growing trend away from physical newspapers. News apps deliver the same news stories as a newspaper, but allows for easy and instant access through an app you download from the app store on your smart phone or tablet. To find local news apps, first learn the name of the local newspaper you want to read and then search for it in the app store. Apps do a good job of categorizing your news, such as local, national, world and specialty topics – such as financial news, sports, entertainment, technology, science, health and more.

Television News

The benefit of television news is that you can learn the basics of a story in just a few minutes. Newscasts will also feature many stories in a brief period of time. The downside is that you need to ask yourself: “Am I hearing the full story”? One thing to keep in mind is that television news is often hyped. This is because ‘bad news’ gets more viewers. Unfortunately, human beings gravitate to watching news that is about bad things happening to other people, or natural disasters.  Those who only watch television news tend to develop a darker picture of the world, when in fact, there are many good things happening in your community and the rest of the world as well.

Radio News

This is often a good way to get your local and regional news delivered in a short period of time. They also spend a bit more time explaining the issue if the radio station you are listening to is more geared to information and not music. Like TV news, radio does not spend as much time exploring the story being reported.

Talk shows on Radio and TV are good at exploring issues deeper, but many talk shows are editorial in nature. This means that it’s acceptable for the host (editorialists) to share his or her opinion about the issue. Whereas journalists are expected to deliver the straight facts without voicing their opinion.

Internet News

Similar to downloading a news app, you can go online and search Google for news related to a topic or bookmarking a website such as Google News and visiting it regularly. Like a newspaper, the news delivered on these sites is in print form and can offer an in depth view of your country and the world. Especially when reading news online, you need to be careful of fake news.

As you can see, there are many different types of news and a variety of ways to stay informed. So what is the best news that students should use? The simple answer is to not get your news from only one source. More importantly, to fully learn the facts about an issue or an event, a good place to start is understanding that the less time a news sources has to report the news to you, the less you will be informed.  Reading the news from a variety of sources is still the best way to be fully informed.

Detecting Bias in News

Even when a person is listening, viewing, and reading various news sources, they still need to be aware of bias.  As humans, we all have some kind of bias.  A good journalist will suppress their biases but no one is perfect. So, when learning about a subject, it’s not only important to be on the lookout for bias.  One should also check that their own bias is not interfering with desiring to get the facts straight.

Watch this video on detecting bias:

Fake News on Social Media and Disinformation

The world is buzzing with false media. Trolls are being investigated by police in the U.S., New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, Canada—in fact pretty much any country that has social media platforms. Britain has seen a wide variety of “missing kids” posts that receive lots of re-tweets and posts but turn out to be false.

The stress, panic and damage such posts cause to families and individuals can even be handled as a criminal matter. Why do people post false news?

Think about yourself. Suppose that you see two friends walking down the street. One girl–say, Linda–suddenly waves to a car that swerves over to let her in before swerving and speeding away. Later you hear that Linda didn’t show up at an after-school group. Nor has she posted anything on social media for hours. You start texting with a friend and after a few minutes you start to think Linda may have been kidnapped. You upload a post describing the last time you saw Linda and for a headline you type: Was Linda Kidnapped?

The headline is so striking, everyone clicks on it to read about Linda. Everybody who knows Linda shares the story and likes your post. You’ve never had so many hits on your page.

Studies have shown that likes and shares are the main reasons people post false or misleading news—they enjoy seeing the numbers climb higher than they’ve ever had before.

Meanwhile, Linda’s parents are freaking out. They try to call Linda and find her cell isn’t on. Only later, after frantic calls to the police who start a search and show up at your home to interview you, does Linda call home—she’d been at a swimming hole with her cousin and for three hours and didn’t have cell service.

This little story isn’t that far-fetched. People of all ages—not just kids—post stories not because they are true, but because the grim details get likes and shares. Major news sources do it because when more people click on their stories they can charge more for advertising. People do it to get more attention on social media.

Why Does News Matter to You?

Think about this: In some situations, people have been jailed for posting fake news. Some have been jailed simply for sharing fake news.  Worst of all, people have had to struggle through heart-ache and pain because someone posted fake information about their homes being burnt, about loved ones missing and killed.

More personally, if you are caught posting fake news, you will never be viewed as a real source ever again. People will read what you say and down-vote it. If you’ve been linked to false news, people will not believe what you post.

In these days of false news, multi-million dollar news outlets, from newspapers to globally-televised broadcast stations to top-rated website, all suffer when they report stories that fudge or play with facts. Don’t let that happen to you.

Share This Article

Should Cell Phones be Allowed in School? (Pros and Cons)

cell phone usage in schools

Policies on the use of cell phones in school vary. While most schools have thorough written policies in place regarding the use of cell phones by students, these guidelines are continually being reviewed, revised and updated on a regular basis for a variety of reasons.

As cell phone used in and around schools evolves and becomes more pervasive throughout society in general, educators are also finding that the age of the typical child with a cell phone in school is getting younger.

Issues Regarding Cell Phones in School

With added cell phone features becoming standard, such as photo and video cameras and recording devices, educators face new issues that did not exist a few years ago. Issues of this nature were first addressed with high school students, and in recent years students using cell phones in middle schools needed guidelines. Today, we see that even elementary schools are now part of the cell phone debate.

The debate over cell phone use in school is no longer about whether or not these devices should be allowed on school premises. The fact of the matter is, parents expect to be in contact with their kids before and after school, as well as during lunch hours for those kids who leave school grounds. The cell phone may also facilitate students in planning after-school work and other activities, such as sporting events.

It is no longer reasonable for educators to expect students to turn in their cell phones at the door and pick them up when school is over. Requiring kids to leave cell phones in the lockers, also increases the risk of theft on a larger scale.

Since students are not prevented from carrying cell phone on their person, the risk of camera phones being used to take photographs of quizzes or exams and transmit them to classmates is of greater concern, not to mention the ability to text or instant message other students. In addition, pictures may be taken at home of notes that can easily be hidden within a phone and later used to cheat on an exam.

Protection of Kids from Cell Phone Abuse

While restricting any use of a cell phone in the classroom is just a matter of common sense, policies around cell phones in school revolve around ‘how to control cell phone use’ during those times throughout the school day when kids are roaming free, such as before school, at recess, lunch breaks and after school class hours.

Camera phones can be used to take embarrassing photographs of classmates in private areas, such as restrooms and locker rooms, and share them with others electronically or posting videos on YouTube. This technology raises legal issues of privacy and sexual harassment.

Cyber bullying also becomes more of an increased issue with access to social media sites, not to mention the distraction that social media and texting can pose to educational process for any child.

Should Cell Phones Be Allowed in School?

Cameras on phones can have educational benefits, giving students the ability to record field trips or school events, to enhance reports with visuals, and to develop photo essays. We have also mentioned the benefit for kids and parents to be in contact with each other, even if to only schedule pick up times.

Smart phones also give students easy access to the internet, which can be a benefit for research (replacing the use of a computer within the school) but can also open up potential concerns about cell phone safety for kids who are out of the watchful eye of their parents.  We recommend the use of our safe search app.

The use of cell phones by teachers is also part of many school policies. The main concern is whether cell phones should be used during school hours for personal business and therefore distracting teachers from their duties in offering students their undivided attention in the classroom or during the supervision of an exam.

Pros and Cons of School Phone

There was a time when “not in school!” was an important rule set for teenagers or children and their cell phones. Things have changed (rather quickly) and cell phones are now welcome in many schools… with some guidelines, of course.

Why cell phones in school is a good thing:

  • Smart phones can help students get more organized in school.
  • Bringing a phone to school lets children communicate with their parents if they need to stay after or have forgotten something at home.
  • Personal phones can be used in the event of an emergency or accident.
  • However, there is an even longer list of reasons why cell phones in school is a bad thing. A few of those reasons include:

Negatives of Cell Phone Use by Students

  • Cell phones can be used to cheat in class.
  • Cell phones can be used for bullying, including taking inappropriate or unwanted pictures and video.
  • It can be very challenging for a teacher or school staff to closely monitor each student and ensure that school cell phone policies are followed.

It is unhealthy for a child or teenager to depend on their cell phone for entertainment, or excessive communication with others when they should be focused on school work. Safe practices while searching the internet are just as important on a phone than when using a computer.

Disciplinary Action for Cell Phone Misuse by Students

Any school policy regarding cell phones in school must also include disciplinary action for various activities involving cell phone use that is contrary to existing policies laid out. There should be set consequences that match the severity of the misuse, as well as reoccurring violations by an individual student or group of students. The most common repeat offense seems to be cell phones ringing in the classroom because a student forgot to turn their phone off.

What Parents Can Do To Teach Teens About Cell Phones in School

Since school policies have approached this topic with an open mind, it’s up to the parents to make sure your child will follow the guidelines and show responsibility when bringing a phone to school. After all, it would be unfair to expect your child to leave their phone at home (since they are allowed in school) and having a cell phone can be helpful in case of an emergency.

Check with the school to find out what the policies are, and use your best judgment to add your own expectations. For example, some schools may allow students to have their phones on during lunch or between classes, and you may not agree with this.

The trick with cell phones in school is that students should not leave valuable property in a car or locker, because it could get stolen. So it is up to the student to be responsible and leave their phone turned off (not just on silent) during class.

So as the parent, you can watch to see how “addicted to their phone” your child is, and at your own discretion determine if the benefits are worth the risk.

Share This Article

Funny Jokes For Kids, written by Kids

funny jokes for kids

Here are a few jokes for kids that were written by kids. All of these jokes are two liner jokes in question and answer format. Some of them also contain puns (a pun on words). A pun is the use of different possible meanings for a word or using words that sound alike but don’t mean the same thing.

For example, if someone tells you a pun you could respond by saying “You’re not very punny”.

Q: What does my dog do when he goes to bed?
A: He reads a bite-time story.

Q: What do dogs do when watching a DVD?
A: They press paws.

Q: Why can’t dogs drive?
A: They can’t find a barking space.

Q: Why did the banana go to the hospital?
A: It was not peeling very well.

Q: Why did the burglar rob a bakery?
A: He needed the dough.

Q: What vitamin helps you to see?
A: Vitamin C.

Q: Why did the ice cream cone take karate lessons?
A: It was tired of getting licked.

Q: How do you make fire with two sticks?
A: Make sure one is a match.

Q: Why did the belt go to jail?
A: He held up a pair of pants.

Q: How to hair stylists speed up their job?
A: They take short cuts.

Q: Why can’t you tell a joke while you’re standing on ice?
A: Because it might crack up.

Q: What do you call a bear with no teeth.
A: A gummy bear.

Q: Where do you put barking dogs?
A: In a barking lot.

Q: Why didn’t Cinderella make the basketball team?
A: She ran away from the ball.

Q: Why didn’t the skeleton go to the dance?
A: He had no body to go with.

Q: Who can shave six times a day and still have a beard.
A: A Barber.

Q: What stays in the corner but goes around the world?
A: A stamp.

Q: Where do burgers like to dance.
A: A meatball.

Q: What day to chickens hate most.
A: Fry-days

Q: What kind of shoes to frogs wear?
A: Open Toad.

Q: What goes up but never comes down?
A: Your age.

Q: Why don’t ducks ever have spare change?
A: They only carry bills.

Q: Why was the math book sad.
A: It had too many problems.

Q: Why did the student eat his homework?
A: Because the teacher said it was a piece of cake.

Q: Where do mummies go swimming?
A: The Dead Sea.

Q: What do rabbits do when they get married?
A: They go on a bunnymoon.

Q: What do you get when an bad rabbit sits on your hair?
A: A dad dare Day.

Q: What kind of table can you eat?
A: A vege-table,

Q: When do you stop at green and go at red?
A: When you’re eating a watermelon.

Q: Why did the girl nibble on her calender?
A: She wanted a sundae.

Q: What do you call two banana peels?
A: A pair of slippers.

Q: What happens when you tell an egg a kids joke like this one?
A: It cracks up.

Q: What do you take before a meal?
A: A seat.

Q: What looks like half a donkey.
A: The other half of a donkey.

Q: How does a lion greet other animals in wild?
A: Please to eat you.

Q: What do you call a woman who crawls up walls?
A: Ivy.

Q: What did the tree wear to the beach party?
A: Swimming trunks.

Q: Why did the leaf go to the doctor?
A: It was feeling a bit green.

Q: What kind of tree can you put in your hand?
A: A palm tree.

Q: How to trees connect with the internet?
A: They log in.

Q: What kind of fruit to trees like the most?
A: Pineapples.

Q: What to elephants and trees have in common.
A: They both have trunks.

Q: What did the chef name is son?
A: Stew.

Q: What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t work?
A: A stick.

Q: Where do horses live?
A: In neigh-borhoods.

Q: Why did the football coach go to the bank?
A: To get his quarterback.

Q: Why did the melon jump in the lake.
A: He wanted to be a watermelon.

Q: Why did the opera singer go sailing.
A: Because she wanted to hit the high C’s.

Q: Why was the basketball game so hot?
A: Because all the fans left.

Q: What do you call a story about a broken pencil.
A: Pointless.

Q: Why was the girl sitting on her watch.
A: Because she wanted to be on time.

Q: What animal can jump higher than a house?
A: Any animal. A house can’t jump.

Q: How do you spot a modern spider?
A: He doesn’t have a web, he has a website.

Q: What are the strongest creatures in the ocean?
A: Mussels.

Q: Why are pianos hard to open?
A: The keys are inside.

Q: When do astronauts eat?
A: At launch time.

Q: Why do cowboys ride horses?
A: Because they are too heavy to carry.

Q: Why did the boy take a ruler to bed?
A: To see how long he slept.

Q: Why did the girl give her pony cough syrup?
A: It was a little horse.

Q: What did the lawyer name is daughter?
A: Sue.

Q: What sound does a nut make when it sneezes?
A: CASHEW!

Q: How do you mend a broken pumpkin?
A: With a pumpkin patch.

Q: What’s the only school where you have to drop out to graduate?
A: Skydiving school.

Q: In what school do you learn how to greet people?
A: Hi school.

© Please feel free to share these jokes on to friends or to a class
at school but do not re-publish online.

If you would like to submit an original joke for this page, please contact us. Safe Search Kids believes that children all over the world are very creative and often think of very clever jokes that other kids would enjoy.  If we like yours, we will publish it here.

Share these Funny Jokes using one of the sharing tools below.

Share This Article

How this Writer is Coping with the Death of her Cat

Internet Cats

I want to tell you about BOSS. Boss was an awesome kitten, born in a closet at a friend’s house with four other equally awesome kittens. After a few months, all were adopted to good homes except this stunning tabby male who always ran out to meet me whenever I stopped in to visit.

Initially, I didn’t want Boss. I had a dog and a busy life and didn’t think I needed another animal.

Still, Boss was persistent, lunging across the carpet, leaping at me to dig his claws into my socks then look up at me and purr. His persistence and innate cuteness won me over. I took him home.

Boss was named Boss because I seemingly had no say in the matter. He was Boss and I was suddenly just someone with opposable thumbs who could open cans of cat food. For a couple of days, Boss tormented my rescued dog, Lucky. It took time and patience but Boss, Lucky and I were soon a family, all jumping into the same bed at night.

One night, Boss didn’t come home. Something bad had happened on a frigid night in January. For a week, me and a roommate wandered the streets, calling his name. We figured he might be dead, but we held out hope. Being brave and strong, we decided to draw a thick line after one week. After one week, if Boss was still missing, we would accept reality, admit the loss in our lives and admit that Boss was dead.

But he wasn’t.

Boss crawled–CRAWLED–back home at four o’clock in the morning exactly one week after going missing. He had either been hit by a car or attached by a dog, but his back leg had been ripped from his skeleton and hung on by skin. I didn’t care about the cost. Me, the roommate and my dog both hugged and loved up that cat all night. In the morning, Boss went to a vet. Luckily, experimental surgery gave him the use of his damaged leg. A couple months after that, Boss was sitting on the front stoop of my house, hissing at dogs that passed by and, on one occasion, attacking a Norwegian Elkhound who had the misfortune of wandering onto my yard. Boss protected me and the dogs in my life. He was a cat-god. I loved him.

My roommate moved away, but on occasion would come to my house simply to cuddle with Boss and find comfort in his powerful purrs.

When Boss turned 16, he became sickly and refused to eat. The vet determined that my beloved Boss was diabetic. Every morning, my awesome Boss would hear me pop open the plastic container I used to store the insulin. He would hunker down and wait for the injection in the scruff of his neck. Then he would go out and be the gangster cat that we knew him to be. Boss was exceptional. He was protective, snugly, funny and a joy in my life.

But all life must end. After two years of being a diabetic, Boss’s body again failed. He could no longer eat or even drink water. After a weekend in the veterinarian clinic, the doctor there told me that Boss wasn’t going to recover. He would soon starve to death. With a friend at my side, I took my old cat in my arms and accepted the vet’s advice. Tears streamed down my face as I told the vet to put Boss to sleep forever.

Yes, this writer intentionally caused the death of this fabulous, wonderful pet. Does that statement reflect the truth of the situation? No. Not anywhere near the truth. It was an action was the kind, humane thing to do.


Death is not an easy subject, yet it’s important to deal it with openly rather than bottling up your feelings inside.  As parents, we need to be there to support our children whenever they are facing any type of with grief and loss.  Here’s an important story about Wally and Wuzzy and how one boy dealt with his loss.

Share This Article
Google Safe Search Explore the Safe Search Engine - Google for Kids