My 9 year old is quoted by Carolyn Y. Johnson in this morning’s Boston Globe article, “Space for everyone.” Carolyn explores how digital social networking (DSN) sites are attractive to a growing demographic of adults as well as young people, and how increasing numbers of online DSN destinations for kids are SAFE in contrast to better known sites like MySpace:
Alexander Fryer is interested in more basic forms of play online. The 9-year-old from Edmond, Okla., began using social-networking websites two years ago, before he could even type, frequenting club.Lego.com to build his own virtual projects. “It’s been exciting because you can see how many people have actually seen what I’ve done,” he said.
Today, the third grader uses ClubPenguin.com, where every child has his or her own penguin and igloo, and has tried out Imbee.com. His father, Wesley, said both sites offer a safe social-networking experience in contrast to the MySpace page, which has been criticized for allowing young people to post revealing personal details.
Kudos to Carolyn for writing a balanced article about DSN that includes information about the opportunities as well as dangers/challenges of online spaces. She also includes links to a bunch of DSN sites I hadn’t heard of before or explored yet, including Ning.com (launched by Netscape co-founder Marc Andreesen) and tubesnow.com, a personal file sharing network tool.
The story behind this story is quite interesting, and probably worth a podcast in itself. Carolyn wanted to interview Alexander and had emailed me some questions Monday night. I didn’t get to ask the questions to Alexander before bed that evening, so I needed to catch him after school. Problem was the school where I presented yesterday afternoon had both Yahoo mail and Google mail blocked, so I couldn’t email her. My cell phone worked, so I asked her to download and register Skype. Not only was I able to send her a file, I was also able to skype out to my son on my wife’s cell phone, who was exploring the Oklahoma City zoo after school, and then drop Carolyn into our conversation in a 3 way skype call: 1 person in rural Oklahoma, 1 at the Oklahoma Zoo in Oklahoma City, and 1 in Boston, Massachusetts. Carolyn didn’t have a microphone connected to her computer during the interview to ask Alexander questions directly, so she used IM to send me additional questions to ask him.
And today his quotation is in the Boston Globe. That was certainly a twenty-first century communication moment!
Did you know Wes has published several eBooks and "eBook singles?" 1 of them is available free! Check them out! Do you use a smartphone or tablet? Subscribe to Wes' free magazine "iReading" on Flipboard!
If you're trying to listen to a podcast episode and it's not working, check this status page. (Wes is migrating his podcasts to Amazon S3 for hosting.) Remember to follow Wesley Fryer on Twitter (@wfryer), Facebook and Google+. Also "like" Wesley's Facebook pages for "Speed of Creativity Learning" and his eBook, "Playing with Media." Don't miss Wesley's latest technology integration project, "Mapping Media to the Curriculum."
On this day..
- Thoughts on Media Control and Free Speech Limits - 2016
- Prepping a new iPad Mini for 3rd Grade - 2013
- Reflections on changing history, national identity, and cultural events in the American midwest - 2008
- Converting text to and from speech for accessibility and convenience - 2008
- Copyright questions and answers about iTunes, Podcasts, and Fair Use - 2008
- Avoiding shock and awe in Plato's cave - 2007
- First "digital dialog" podcast - 2007
- Podcasting in Higher Ed Roundtable - 2006
- WiFi Picture Frame - 2006
- SuprGlu feed river - 2006