Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Euro 2012 reading tips for parents: # 3 WEBSITES

There are loads of websites covering the Euro 2012 football tournament. I think websites like this are great way of engaging children with reading.

This is why:

(1) webistes have short passages of text that are not too overwhelming;

(2) they have familiar images from the world of TV that children can feel comfortable with. Even familiar commentators and pundits;

(3) as websites, they have a great mix of images, audio and video footage, meaning that the reading is just part of an overall way of taking in information and is therefore not too much about trawling through lots of words;

(4) some of the websites have interactive elements, meaning that children can read a bit, then respond, then read a bit more.

(5) websites can be read on computers, phones and - importantly - in public libraries, making them free, unlike newspapers and magazines.
I have had a look at four of the main Euro 2012 websites. I've not gone for the newspapers' websites, because I have already talked about newspapers. But if you look on-line, all of the newspapers have extensive coverage of the tournament too.

Here goes:

BBC's is the best, for me. I love the way it is laid out. There is so much there. Here is a list of what they have:

* latest news
* analysis of each country's team
* videos of goals and players
* blogs by their correspondents
* a history of the tournament
* a kit to set up your own office or family sweepstake
* an e-wallchart
* and much much more

ITV have a decent site too. It has news, humour, videos and the fixtures. But I don't like it as much as the BBC one, which is far more comprehensive and better laid out, for me. That could be because I always look at the BBC's website, though, meaning that I am used to its format.

Like the BBC website, the ITV one is good because it relates very closely to what we are going to be watching on the TV. The same names. The same images. But with extra words. I find that attractive because it means I am already at ease with their content. I think - had there been websites when I was a boy - these two would have been my choices.

SkySports' Euro 2012 website is a little confusing, not so well laid out. The big issue for me with their site is that it is too easy to stumble into the Sky Bet areas. Not something I want to be encouraging children to do. I have a friend whose life has been ruined by betting on the football.

UEFA also have a website for the tournament. As the official one it has a lot of good information. But all the kick off times are in Central European Time, which started to confuse me a bit. But I'm easily confused.

So, take your pick. I hope these are useful.

Also, check out my blogs - below - about newspapers and magazines.

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