What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this popular and free blogging tool’s terms of service stress t stress it’s only for kids 13 and older. Uses will can access a vast library of open-source and user-created themes and plug-ins for elegant website design. The app and website are also a venue for sharing blogs and blog posts, which opens it up to a range of iffy content. Teens can encounter everything from serious editorials about current events to pornographic images and descriptions of drug use. Parents should talk to teens about responsible online publishing and help them explore the privacy options on WordPress.com.
What's it about?
WORDPRESS.COM is the current gold standard for DIY blogging, geared primarily toward pretty tech-savvy adult users. But teens can definitely use the basic features to choose a free theme to customize the look of a page; post blog entries with text, photos, or video; approve comments; and manage a blog. Multiple posters can write for the same blog within the app, and they can also use the Reader tab to follow blogs or search for ones on subjects of interest from within the app.
Is it any good?
Easy blog setup and account activation lets kids start blogging quickly. Customization options give more tech-savvy students the ability to create more elaborate sites, and a great step-by-step tutorial helps newbies get their first posts online with only a limited set of options. The WordPress app can be an easy way to update and add posts when away from the computer. The updated layout is very user-friendly, giving kids the option of posting in WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) format or HTML. Photos and videos are very easy to post using the Quick Post feature with no uploading required. Users also can post by using voice-recognition dictation, which is pretty fun and easy
Controlling posts and customizing content, however, can be quite complicated. Users may find the dashboard menu options overwhelming. Also, be advised that many of the upgrades for customization cost money. Overall, this is a great choice for blogging and self-expression, if used wisely by mature teens who want something solid with a lot of options for control -- but know they'll have to put in the work to have the site look exactly the way they want it.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about being cautious about what they write and post online. They can't fully control who will see the information, and even once it's deleted it could be cached and still available.
Read your kids' writing -- online or off -- and talk about their ideas and expressions.
Talk about what kids see in others' posts: Whose writing do they admire? Have they seen anything they don't like?
Have a talk with your teens about validity and blogging. Whose opinion can you trust? What makes someone an expert?
Help your teens come up with a topic for their blog and then brainstorm ideas for post topics. Make a schedule to help them stay focused -- for example, Picture Mondays and Poetry Wednesdays. Or spend some time with your teens looking at blogs in your community. Comment on, share about, and get involved in a discussion on someone else's blog. Talk about online conversations and how they're different from real-world ones. Refer to our Social Networking Tips for guidelines.
|Devices:||iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Chromebook, Fire phone, Kindle Fire|
|Subjects:||Language & Reading: discussion, writing|
|Skills:||Creativity: producing new content |
Communication: conveying messages effectively
Tech Skills: digital creation, social media
|Release date:||February 25, 2013|
|Minimum software requirements:||iOS 5.0 or later; Android 2.2 and up|