Historypin

Website review by
Polly Conway, Common Sense Media
Historypin Website Poster Image
Cool history project empowers teens to connect and share.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about the history of any area they choose by searching Historypin's world map by place, time, or subject. They can learn what their neighborhood looked like in 1862, 1962, and 2002, or view photos of, say, summer camps across the world. Because there are a few different ways to use Historypin's bank of user-contributed knowledge, as well as ways to add content, teens can learn how to access and create digital content that's meant to be shared with the general public. Historypin makes it easy for teens to share their own stories while discovering new insights into the past.

Positive Messages

Historypin gives kids a fresh understanding of their place in the world, literally. Exploring the history of their country, neighborhood, and home could lead to a more powerful connection to the earth we all share.

Violence

Because Historypin catalogs all parts of history, there may be some violent or troubling images (war, natural disasters, etc.) to view.

Sex

Users can flag inappropriate content; we didn't see any inappropriate content during our review.

Language

Users can flag inappropriate content; we didn't see any inappropriate content during our review.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Users can flag inappropriate content; we didn't see any inappropriate content during our review.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Historypin is a great tool to bring families together to share stories. Users pin historical photos to a mapped location and add a note explaining the image. Younger kids should be guided through the site by an adult, but teens are mature enough to review the content themselves. The images are more likely to hold the interest of older kids (lots and lots of black and white photos here). Users can flag inappropriate content. (At the time of this review, we saw nothing of concern.) Parents should also know that accounts are recommended for users over 16; younger users can share with a parent.

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What's it about?

HISTORYPIN is a map-based website that allows \"people to come together, from across different generations, cultures and places, to share small glimpses of the past and to build up the huge story of human history.\" Users do this by \"pinning\" photos to a location on the map and attaching a note to describe what's in each image. The site urges individuals and families to dig through their attics, scan those old photos, and share them with the world. Anyone can add to Historypin's map, from seasoned historians to average families, making it an epic, crowdsourced project that grows along with its community.

Is it any good?

Historypin is a great idea that's executed just about perfectly. By allowing anyone to become a historian, it gathers democratized information about the past, sometimes from the very people who lived it. The part kids will like best? Sharing their own stuff. But through that, they'll begin to see how important history is, how cultures change over time, and what it means to maintain a legacy. Kids will be tickled to see old photos of their parents (if you wish to share, of course!) and grandparents. Historypin allows kids to visualize the shared history of their city, country, and world, as well as the individual experiences that shape our past.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Explore your family's town and neighborhood on the Historypin map. Families can make discoveries together about people's lives, both past and present, through each pin.

  • Historypin offers a great opportunity to review your own family history with kids. Get grandparents and other family members together for a photo sharing party!

Website details

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For kids who love learning about history

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