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Cool idea lab lets teens use tech tools to create and share.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The educational component of this site makes it a tremendous networking tool for teens, who are primarily supportive and helpful in the forums.

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The site is free to use, and because it's non-profit, it's also free of advertising. Most funding comes from business partners, who are listed on a "partners" page. Some contests are sponsored by various partners, and contest prizes are often highly coveted brands such as iPods or cell phones, but the brand names are not the focus and remain secondary to the various contests.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a safe social networking site for teens that's both entertaining and educational. Users are invited to tackle -- and share -- activities and projects (all with parental consent) using the latest technology and tools.

Parents say

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What's it about?

Created by Sun Microsystems veteran Dale Farrario, FRESHBRAIN.ORG provides a free, safe place for teens to explore and create through an array of creative activities, projects, and contests. From creating a musical mashup to animating a stick figure to creating a T-shirt design, there's something for everyone to participate in -- and definitely much to learn. The site features forums for chatting about progress and throwing around ideas, as well as an area to post the finished projects and activities. Strict privacy rules are in place and parental consent is required for each project.

Is it any good?

QUALITY provides the social networking that most teens crave, but also gives them the educational, creative outlet that parents want. Simple to navigate and safe to use, it's a fun place for kids to hang out and try their hand at some new cool tech tools. The activities and projects that are offered are imaginative and the resulting finished works are equally inventive. Even technologically timid students will find some inspiration and support here.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why it's important for teens to stay on top of the latest technology and tools. How will it help supplement or enhance what they're learning in school? And why is social networking with a learning component a more valuable use of their time online?

Website details

Pricing structure:Free

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bysle1008 July 28, 2010

Good website, but hard to use

I thought this was a great website to encourage kids to be creative and to use their talents. The only thing I didn't like was that is was hard to use sometimes and didn't make some things clear.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages