What parents need to know
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.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- presenting to others
- conveying messages effectively
- multiple forms of expression
- group projects
- meeting challenges together
- social media
Engagement, Approach, Support
Mural.ly is fun and easy to use. Kids can customize note color, font, and other elements, which gives them some creative control. Shy students, kids working remotely, and other team members can easily communicate with each other and share ideas.
Unfortunately, kids won't find many educational extras; adults will need to reinforce learning by emphasizing things like teamwork. Still, kids get a valuable chance to practice communication and collaboration skills.
Kids get frequent prompts and help using the tool; users also can view sample boards to see how the site works. A blog offers site information and tips.
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.
Families can talk 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?
|Price:||Free-$10 per month per user|
|Pricing structure:||Free, Free to Try, Paid|