A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that teens can use MASHER to create video and music mashups and then post their creations to their Facebook profile. Teens can also Tweet the mashups, embed them in an email, and more. Masher can be a great tool for teens who like to take lots of videos and photos of themselves and their friends, who like to mix music around images to evoke a feeling, and who like to share their creations with other people -- that describes a lot of teens. All it takes is some video, photos, and music kids want to combine to tell a story, create a tech-savvy birthday card, or otherwise mashup different forms of expression into one creation. Users are encouraged to use the Facebook app version of Masher rather than the web-based version, which seems a bit buggy. Kids under 13 must get their parent's permission to use this site's interactive features.
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What's it about?
First, Masher users must register for the site (or Facebook app, recommended) by providing their name and an email address. Then they can watch tutorials, browse the gallery of other people's video mashups, or create their own. It's as simple as dragging and dropping the video and photos you want to use, and adding music as well as text and visual effects. The themes, such as a birthday or holiday theme, can help kids get started with a bit of a template. When complete, kids can share their mashup video on the site itself, or with friends via Facebook, Twitter, or email.
Is it any good?
In its simplest form, Masher is sort of like a slide show set to music or a Power Point-style presentation created by combining photos, videos, and music. Kids who like to take lots of pictures of themselves or their friends, or who like to make special photo presentations of school years, sports team seasons, vacations, or other events, will love the capabilities provided by Masher. Most of the music and images already on the site as examples or that can be used as stock content aren't current and many kids won't want to use any content other than their own. Especially for Facebook users, Masher is an easy, useful, creative tool to bring music, photos, and video together to tell a personal story.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Mashers Code of Conduct and what sort of responsibility comes with making a new digital creation that may likely include images of other people. What are some ways your teen can check with friends if it's OK that they use videos or photos with them in them? What sorts of video or photos might embarrass others and not be OK to even suggest using?
Watch some of the videos already posted on Masher with your teen. Which ones do they like? Why? Encourage your teen to think about using this tool ethically and creatively.
- Subjects: Arts: film, music
Language & Reading: presenting to others, storytelling
- Skills: Tech Skills: digital creation, social media, using and applying technology
Communication: conveying messages effectively, friendship building, multiple forms of expression
Responsibility & Ethics: following codes of conduct, respect for others
Creativity: making new creations
- Genre: Video Sites
- Pricing structure: Free
For kids who love creating
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