A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while the information presented is excellent, it includes British-English words and phrases that may be unfamiliar to American children's ears. Families who visit this site will find information on safe surfing for all ages, although it's hard to navigate among the various sections.
What's it about?
The BBC's ChatGuide is a portal to BBC material on safe Internet surfing, specifically targeting the use of chat, texting, and instant messages. It's a quick way to access lots of great content that would otherwise take a multitude of clicks to locate somewhere in the entire BBC family of sites. There are four different entries to the BBC's ChatGuide site, one each for kids, teens, parents, and teachers.
Is it any good?
Children visiting the CBBC Kids subsection will love helping Dongle the rabbit make decisions on accepting email from a stranger, giving out personal information in a chatroom, and agreeing to meet someone he's chatted with online. Also located in the Kids subsection are tips on using mobile phone texting, advice on how to avoid computer viruses, and lots more. It's all very interactive and has just enough "scare" to warn kids but not enough to alienate them completely.
The Teen subsection of ChatGuide offers similar fare, with an edgier look and feel, plus a "real life story" that kicks fear of chatrooms up a few notches. In the official Parent's section of the ChatGuide site, there's a PDF pamphlet on online safety, and the Teacher's area offers curriculum downloads. The information contained in the ChatGuide subsections is excellent, although it's easy to get lost and difficult to try and get back to the ChatGuide portal itself.
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