Social network for younger kids: Imbee


There is a reason I go to conferences . . . to gain fresh insights into what is going on in technology and to become better at presenting. The last conference I just returned from in Phoenix (MEC) was great. I found out that a lot of people are very interested in wikis and digital storytelling, since both of my presentations were packed. But I found out even more from going to other presentations and seeing what other people are doing.

I explored Facebook a bit more during this conference and came away with the same conclusions about this social networking software: it’s good, but the groups feature (which should be the most powerful part of this software) is not that great. You cannot customize groups that much and it doesn’t offer enough tools. So, I’m still a fan of ning, which I’ll write about another time.

While exploring and discussing Facebook, however, I found out about a social network for younger children (imbee), which looks pretty promising. Although it has a focus on pop culture (most of the stars were those I’m familiar with, having an 11-year old daughter), it seems to offer the tools of social networking on a much safer level. Parents can sign up with their children to monitor activity, or kids need their parents’ approval before they can get an account. The site is set up with activities that would appeal to my daughter, such as a “make friends” section that has images of dogs (one of my daughter’s favorite interests). The site really looks like fun for younger kids and “tweens” and should be a great resource for elementary school teachers.

If you have younger children who want to write blogs or build web pages, have them try out imbee and see what they think. And, as usual, tell me what you think, too.


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