“Dad, I just learned about this great website for playing games and meeting friends! Can I join it?”
My eleven year old daughter asked me this question a couple of weeks ago about the website Spark City, which is part of the larger website AllGirlsArcade.com. I told her I would check it out and decide if it was ok for her to create an account. Today, after a couple weeks of waiting, Sarah reminded me I still hadn’t told her if she could create an account. After doing some research I decided to let her create the account and use the site, but check in with her as she uses the site, especially the chat features. In this post I’ll briefly review the process I followed to make this decision.
My favorite website to use for Internet safety and website questions like this is Common Sense Media.
Common Sense Media is free and provides (in my view) a good balance of advice for parents as well as opportunities for site members to chime in with their opinions. They have a fairly positive review of the AllGirlsArcade website, but the member comments are very mixed. As you can see from the screenshot below, many of the site reviews are NOT positive.
The user comments about AllGirlsArcade are very mixed. Lots of people expressed concerns over the open chat areas.
I am going to caution Sarah about these chat areas, and explore them together with her. We may opt to not use the chat areas, or not use the site at all if they really are as bad as some commenters make them sound. I’m interested to know what’s going on there, and if the non-chat areas of the site are beneficial enough to justify still using the site but avoiding chat.
These are important conversations we need to have, so this website is going to provide opportunities to have them.
Have you used Spark City or AllGirlsArcade.com before? What’s your take?
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On this day..
- Visualizing A Twitter Feed-based Digital Newspaper with Flipboard - 2010
- Using text messaging to prevent school violence (and other crimes) - 2010
- Empowering 21st Century Learners (Canyon ISD, Texas) - 2010
- Geography 2.0: A Juicy Way to Mash Up Learning - 2008
- Education, Learning and Media Megatrends - 2008
- Ecto 3 Alpha released, not recommended - 2007
- Real versus fake learning experiences - 2007
- Great list of open source software tools - 2006
- More cities and towns considering municipal wireless - 2006
- Great planet image - 2006