A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mural.ly is a digital corkboard that allows users to post and organize all kinds of media. Users can sign up for this social bookmarking tool with a username, an email address, and a password or with Facebook, Google, or Twitter. Kids can leave comments on boards and chat with other users who have access to a board, but unless they stumble across the direct link to a board outside the site, it's unlikely strangers will find their way onto kids' boards.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
The MURAL.LY social bookmarking tool makes idea-sharing a simple, visual process. Kids can save text, video, and images to a virtual corkboard, and its access can be limited to certain users. The boards function like sticky notes: elements can be moved and revised by one or more users. (In fact, kids can share ideas and other content on virtual sticky notes.) To start a discussion, users only have to type @ and another user's name; that user will get a notification email. Kids also can view a log of mural changes and additions.
Is it any good?
Kids can create an eye-catching message board, complete with text, video, and images. Mural.ly combines social bookmarking and communication, making it an ideal format for brainstorming and group project work. You can invite other individual users or send out a board link to a group; kids have to register for the site to get access, but the system provides a fairly safe, insulated experience. Also, it's easy to use: kids who are familiar with popular sites such as Facebook should understand many of the shortcuts. Kids also can add ideas via sticky notes in a variety of colors and, with a fairly reasonable Pro subscription, chat and collaborate in real time. Kids who tend to think in a very linear way may find the design challenging, but it can be great for those who don't. Similarly, boards with a large number of users may quickly get overcrowded with ideas, but Mural.ly provides a generally effective method for sharing ideas -- and can give each student working on a project a chance to contribute and build off other students' suggestions.
Talk to your kids about ...
Ask your child for an example of a project or event that involved teamwork. Are there any things your child thinks would help improve the process next time?
- Respecting other people's opinion is a big part of working in a group. Can your child identify two or three ways to express constructive criticism instead of phrasing a suggestion in a way that might hurt someone's feelings?
- Subjects: Language & Reading: discussion, presenting to others
Arts: drawing, photography
- Skills: Communication: conveying messages effectively, multiple forms of expression
Collaboration: group projects, meeting challenges together
Tech Skills: social media
- Genre: Educational
- Pricing structure: Free to Try, Paid, Free (After a free trial, memberships are $12 per year or $16 per month.)