Does your 8-year-old want a Facebook account? Well mine does, and I’m just not ready to give in yet, so I’m happy to hear about the launch of ScuttlePad! It’s social networking designed to be safe for kids, but one that keeps the parents as part of the process. The intent of the site is to teach young people how to approach social networking.
ScuttlePad caters to children between 6 and 11-years old and uses guided communication to help teach how to share information responsibly. They also encourage parents and teachers — those familiar with social networking and those new to it — to welcome ScuttlePad into their homes and classrooms as a platform that keeps kids connected and safe.
One thing ScuttlePad doesn’t have is fun extras – games, puzzles, and more like other social networking sites – which may be a con in enticing my daughter to try out this social networking platform instead of Facebook (where she wants her own Farmville farm). Instead the focus of ScuttlePad is to serve as a training ground.
The site shows only basic profile information … no last names, no cities. Users can upload pictures, send messages, create status updates and comment on other users’ content. On top of that, each picture is manually reviewed by ScuttlePad employees to ensure they’re appropriate.
I’ll probably test this out and see how my daughter likes it. She gets very frustrated with the level of restriction on Webkinz messages, but ScuttlePad insists that their “safe” word list combinations “offer endless sentence possibilities, which fosters creativity and builds critical vocabulary and grammar skills.”
What do you think of the idea of ScuttlePad and would you encourage children to try it out?