Franktown Rocks

Common Sense Media says

Music and social networking combine in safe, cool hangout.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kids are encouraged to explore music genres and meet online friends in a safe, educational setting based on G-rated, contemporary music.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language

Chatting can be done via safe, pre-selected words or free entry, and site terms indicate that content is monitored "by humans and electronically."

Consumerism

Premium, pay-for memberships to the site are advertised (although it can be used for free). Kids can trade in "Franks" (earned through playing games or bought by parents via credit card) to purchase songs and other virtual items for their Franktown character.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this highly regarded site creates a safe spot for kids to listen to hip music -- all pre-screened by parents. With games, videos, and a virtual world to explore, and an emphasis on music appreciation, it's a sweet-sounding mix of what kids want in music and what parents want online -- safety and education.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading

Arts

  • rhythm
  • improvising and music analysis
  • music

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • strategy

Creativity

  • combining knowledge

Self-Direction

  • motivation
  • work to achieve goals

Emotional Development

  • persevering

Communication

  • listening
  • friendship building

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology
  • digital creation
  • social media

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Tweens who love music will love this charming, crowd-pleasing site. While some videos are choppy and games could be more challenging, the trendy music selection is the big draw here.

Learning Approach

Kids learn by watching pro musicians explain various instruments, then trying their hand at games that mimic the experience of actual playing. They use repetition and practice to improve skills.

Support

Instruction is clear as kids are guided through the activities. They'll also meet other musically-minded young people in Franktown, and will learn by talking to them in a safe and fun environment.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading

Arts

  • rhythm
  • improvising and music analysis
  • music

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • strategy

Creativity

  • combining knowledge

Self-Direction

  • motivation
  • work to achieve goals

Emotional Development

  • persevering

Communication

  • listening
  • friendship building

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology
  • digital creation
  • social media

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Kids can learn what music appreciation is all about: really appreciating music that they already like! They'll learn that it takes patience and quick hands to play an instrument by playing games, as well as cultivating their own taste in music by choosing songs to listen to while they're exploring the town  and its offerings. The social media aspect of Franktown Rocks should help kids learn to communicate with their peers about a common interest: music. After mastering some Franktown Rocks games, kids may express interest in giving the real instruments a try.

This Learning Rating review was written by Polly Conway

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Tweens who love music will love FRANKTOWN ROCKS, a social networking site that encourages kids to meet friends and learn about music through an eclectic but tween-pleasing G-rated collection of songs, games, videos, and virtual-world play. It's free unless you want to buy a Premium membership for better streaming, suped-up music choices, and other features (99 cents for a two-day pass, $5.99/mo.). You can also buy online money called Franks, which are used to purchase songs and other items in Franktown (but Franks can also be earned by playing games on the site for free).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Praised by Parents magazine as one of the "best of the next generation" of junior social networks, this site is safe, educational, and a crowd-pleaser. While some of the videos posted are kind of choppy and dull and the games could be more challenging, it's not really about the games and videos here. The Franktown virtual world is cute and safe. Yet the music selection is the big draw -- hip enough to grab tweens' attention while diverse enough to sprinkle in some encouraging music appreciation lessons.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about digital music creation. See our Parent Advice on Creating with Digital Media. You can also review our Club Penguin Tips for advice on navigating virtual worlds.

  • Whenever social networking is involved make sure kids know how to behave responsibly online. Check out our Social Networking Tips for a refresher.

Website details

Genre:Virtual Worlds
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Franktown Rocks was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old April 6, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

WOW!

Nice, it combines gaming with my favourite... music!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Parent of a 9 year old Written bysaetern1 March 24, 2010
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

How good it is.

It has a mebership and paly a lot of good game on it. from, justin
Parent of a 10 and 13 year old Written bylee_driver February 17, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Cute, fun musical world for 8 and up

Very cute, fun world, and it seems very safe. Love that they've got some music education fun in there, too.

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