Mural.ly

Common Sense Media says

Multifaceted bookmark boards help kids collaborate, create.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
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7
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9
10
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12
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The site encourages kids to collaborate and build content based on each other's ideas.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

Kids can add text with swear words to boards they have access to, but they can't easily scan other boards for bad words, and adults can remove inappropriate references if they have access to a child's board.

Consumerism

Although a paid subscription is available, users also get a decent experience from the site's free version.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Kids can't easily view other users' boards unless they get an invitation to, and the settings for each mural can be changed to only let the creator invite other viewers. Users with a paid Pro subscription also can password-protect links they send to viewers for extra security. 

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

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

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

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.

Learning Approach

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.

Support

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 kids can learn

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

Kids can learn about collaboration, communication, and brainstorming. This social bookmarking tool provides experience organizing and sharing information and conveying messages. Kids also get social media practice. Design options, such as font choice, let kids express themselves and be creative. Mural.ly seems like a perfect fit for teamwork-oriented exercises. The site could use some collaboration tips or other group-learning resources, but its basic benefits are impressive. Kids don't need to be in the same room to work together, and each can contribute by using other students' posts as a jumping-off point.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Brereton

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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?

QUALITY
 

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?
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Website details

Genre:Social Networking
Price:Free-$10 per month per user
Pricing structure:Free, Free to Try, Paid

This review of Mural.ly was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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