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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Kids can learn about responsible social networking use; they'll also practice basic reading and writing skills when sharing and responding to posts. Regular site use will create ongoing conversations and help kids learn to communicate, and they'll get to express themselves. Posting photos and videos can provide photography and filmmaking experience; user comments may help kids hone their craft. Teachers also can use the system to engage with students. Kimingo's success depends on how much a school embraces it; if it takes off, the site can provide a fun, easy-to-navigate outlet for kids to develop their communication skills safely.
The site encourages kids to express themselves through posts and online conversations.
Users can post words such as "s--t" -- there doesn't seem to be a language filter -- although, presumably, parental supervision would help minimize or prevent that from happening often.
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Products & Purchases
Sidebar ads for a clothing store and the Kimingo app appear on pages.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Kimingo is a closed social network site that kids can only sign up for through their school. Kids' schools first sign up to use Kimingo; the site then has a school representative verify each students' identity in person. Kimingo provides a printed registration card to each student with a code. Parents and their children use the code to create their account. Parents need to verify registration for any child under age 13. Once in, kids can do the usual social media stuff: sharing photos, posting to friends' walls, and so on. Kimingo's not messing around when it comes to kid privacy and safety; its best feature (signing in through school) also is its downfall (if your kids' school doesn't have it, they can't use it).
Is It Any Good?
Kids can do pretty much the same things on KIMINGO that they can do on other social media sites: share photos, post comments, upload videos, and respond to other users' messages and posts. Kimingo, however, is a closed online social network that parents can monitor -- making it safer than sites such as Facebook or Twitter, where kids can easily come into contact with strangers. It'll require some time and effort on adults' part, but giving parents profile-monitoring capabilities should help keep correspondence clean. The site isn't currently implemented in a lot of schools; growth likely will depend on whether or not educational institutions embrace the system. The network can be used for teacher-student correspondence, but it also can simply serve as a social outlet (which may be a deterrent for some schools). However, if a school is looking to add a new tool that'll help kids practice safe communication, Kimingo's structure may prove a perfect fit.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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