Zeega

(i)

 

Learning(i)

Image-based multimedia mash-ups fun for creative kids.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kids will explore feelings and opinions through what really boils down to digital art-making (making GIFs is art, right?)It's a great place for humor and expression.

Violence

You can use an image of Scarface blasting his machine gun as well as comparable violent images from virtually any popular film. 

Sex

A Tumblr search for "sex" doesn't bring up any results, but if you get creative and search for "model," plenty of sexual images pop up. 

Language

Users can place any text on top of images, but searches for swear words don't unearth anything. Offensive language found in probably 5 percent of Zeegas. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A Zeega under the #funny tag ends with the advice, "Smoke weed every day."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Zeega is a website that creative teens can use to put together blips of multimedia content, expressing themselves through text and moving images. It's a lot of fun. Some Zeegas play like short art films; others are just plain silly. The website is best for mature teens interested in how to use media to send a message. Here's why: though the majority of Zeegas are cool and experimental, there's no way to filter out inappropriate content, and many of the pre-made GIFs are violent or sexual in nature. Also, a scrolling screen filled with herky-jerky GIFs can be overwhelming for younger kids, and the content may be above their heads or just plain inappropriate. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • presenting to others
  • storytelling

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • events

Arts

  • film
  • music

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • part-whole relationships
  • collecting data

Creativity

  • combining knowledge
  • imagination
  • producing new content

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • social media
  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Zeega is crazy fun. It only takes a minute or two to create a super-arty GIF that could be funny, powerful, or just plain silly. Design is very modern, and teens will love experimenting with all the options. 

Learning Approach

Integrating sound, image, and text helps kids think critically. Socially, they'll be inspired by other folks' Zeegas and happy to share their own. 

Support

An FAQ list offers basic support, and when you click Help within the tool, instruction bubbles pop up. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • presenting to others
  • storytelling

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • events

Arts

  • film
  • music

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • part-whole relationships
  • collecting data

Creativity

  • combining knowledge
  • imagination
  • producing new content

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • social media
  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn to tell a story using text, images, and short film clips. They can gain cultural understanding as they browse GIFs, some of which portray current events or popular media. Making a Zeega requires analysis of part-whole relationships; kids essentially can create a short film on any topic, adding tone with filters and text. A complex Zeega can be a visual poem, juxtaposing images and words. A less complex Zeega: a cat wearing a suit, playing "Fur Elise" on the piano. Get it? Zeega is a fun, if not-always-kid-appropriate, place for teens to experiment.

This Learning Rating review was written by Polly Conway

What's it about?

Zeega is a website that lets you "mash up" various types of online content -- including images, GIFs, and music -- to create your own piece of original media. What's a GIF? Basically it's a file that can contain a very short animation or video, and GIFs are often used online to express a feeling visually (think the classic "dancing baby" or the currently popular Nyan Cat, a pixelated cat flying through the air on a Pop-Tart). You can drag and drop popular GIFs from the daily favorites menu on the left side of the screen, pull from other aggregators such as Gifhy or Tumblr, or upload your own. Then you can add text and color filters and adjust opacity to layer images. Click the red cloud to search Soundcloud for a song; they've got everything from David Bowie to Bing Crosby to the Notorious B.I.G. Each Zeega is saved in your profile and can be shared through social media.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Adding layer upon layer of moving images can get pretty trippy, but it's really fun. Mix a '60s-era Twiggy eating an apple in front of a sad clown with a sleepy kitten, or overlay a Jack Kerouac quote on a Mos Def soundtrack, and you've just scratched the surface of options. You can also create more straightforward content -- think I Can Has Cheezburger-type memes. The comic book-style text bubbles help kids easily follow steps to complete a Zeega. More and more, people seem to be communicating online with short bursts of images and text to express a feeling or an idea. Tumblr can be a hotbed of racy content, and it's not filtered for kid-friendliness at all. 

The random bank of content found in Tumblr or Zeega's favorites lends itself well to kooky, fun creation but not so much to learning. Technically, it would be nice if you didn't have to play Zeegas frame by frame; an autoplay function would create a more seamless experience. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about multimedia art. How does adding music or film segments change the meaning of a piece of art?

  • It's not that hard to make GIFs from your own photos. Team up with your kid to crack up family members and friends by creating moving pictures of them.

Website details

Genre:Creating
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Zeega was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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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About Our Rating System

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 8 years old October 7, 2013

ZEEGA NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT OK FOR KIDS

I DO NOT THINK ITS APPROPRIATE FOR KIDS
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns
Parent of a 9 and 14 year old Written bymom182 July 22, 2014
LEARNING

Inappropriate Platform

Clicking on the first few creations you can find insensitive stereotypes, inappropriate images, and offensive content. While it may be used for fun, there looks to be no flagging or review of content. I would not recommend- much better places for kids to go where mods actually check for problems. Offensive, anti-diversity products should not be recommended for kids.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns

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