We think so!
According to recent research, two thirds of NZ kids aged 6-9 are using social networks. Considering that Facebook only technically allows users aged over 13, that’s probably a bit alarming for parents!
There are two pieces of good news.
First, NetSafe has some great resources for parents, like InMyDay, which is a parents’ guide to cybersafety.
Secondly, there are actually a few good places where kids can safely socially network online. One that we’re particularly proud of by association is NZ’s own Minimonos.
Minimonos is a social network just for kids, with an emphasis on sustainability, generosity and community. The founders are pretty clear that it’s not an “educational” site, but learning does tend to happen through fun and play.
Minimonos is a kiwi business but it’s also registered in the UK, and right now minimonos is part of the Springboard programme in the UK, which is raising funding to take it to the next level.
The internet is also becoming part of the classroom experience for kids. Literacy used to be about reading and writing, no more. But Point England school has expanded the definition of literacy to digital tools – audio, video, images, blogs, tweets.
Pt England students are using video all the time, but this one deserved special attention. It’s the idea of Levi, a 9-year-old student who wanted to bring some comfort and good vibes to Christchurch – much needed at the moment!
Here’s Marie’s Breakfast on One slot from this morning.