KerPoof – Social Networking Platform for Children
Found In: Social Networks
Often with the Internetís rapid development it has been the children who have been forgotten in terms of what they can do to entertain themselves and to grow with their creative minds. Indeed, children have the best minds for learning new skills from the internet because they simply have no fear of computers and they never worry about breaking something; because as a worst case scenario, mom or dad will fix it. Their minds are so ripe and perfectly tuned to learning and creating because when they are under seven years old they have one single most powerful question they always need answered ñ hy. And from seven years old until puberty kicks in, they have a different but equally dominant question they always need answered ñ ìwhy notî, because they know the why of things and so their minds have turned to alternative ways that things could be done. Parents have over reacted to the dangers of the internet and of their kids being exposed to predators and pornography; when the simple answer to this concern was always for parents to invest their own time spent with their children as they safely explore what is of benefit to children; the many ways to learn and create. That is, the internet was never intended to be a cheap baby sitter of children; and yet it has always been a great activity for children and parents to bond and spend time together.
Now owned by Walt Disney, KerPoof is now a Commercial Business Unit
First launched in 2007 with a target audience of children from ages three years and older, KerPoof saw instant success with an increasing community of users growing at thirty percent per month compound. KerPoof which is now a Walt Disney company since they acquired it in 2009 has set out to engage children in a socially networked way in the many ways that children can get creative and to share their efforts with others. It is a platform that enables kids to vote on movies theyíve seen or stories they have read or drawings other people have made. It allows them with fully functional tools to create their own animated movies, to create artistic work even if they are not particular skilled at drawing. It is the platform that encourages them to build up their own story and to perhaps earn credits which can be spent at the KerPoof store. Presented with a fun for kidís style of interface, it could be more intuitive than it is. For example, finding out where to click to sign up is not as easy as it should be; you have to click the login button to find a link to sign up. And whilst it is for kids, the site presumes this is with the parentís consent and requires the parents email address to be supplied.
No User Manual, but Tutorials and Other Helpful Links on KerPoof
There are tutorials available for people to follow and use, and two videos on how to make animations and to create a drawing using the software tools supplied. And under the ìTips and Tricksî tab, there is information on how to create ìSuper Doodleî short cuts, picture and movie short cuts, the best ways to earn credits (called Koins), and also various cheat codes that all kids expect to find in every computer game. By design, the site has no user manual; it is intended to be explored to make it more fun so the team report. Certainly the site is devoted towards educational purposes and has teacherís resources to encourage them to use the site in schools.
They Say it is free, but KerPoof Costs Money if You Want to Use it Properly
On the downside, while the site on face value is free as stated, to in fact use the functions that all other social networking sites do provide for free like building a friends list and chatting to them, and collaborating with them on a drawing for example are all deemed a premium service requiring a credit card. And so with these most basic of social networking functions not included in the basic KerPoof free option, the site must be considered a paid for service to be of any value to children. That is, marketing the site as free is grossly misleading and unfair to children who will naturally have gotten their hopes up that they can communicate with their friends online in a safe environment like their parents do on other sites for free. In that sense, the Walt Disney Corporation has never had a reputation for anything other than an expensive profit making business enterprise targeting children to access their parentís money. That aside, providing you are prepared to pay for the services at the nine dollars ninety five per month, your child is surely going to benefit from being able to express themselves creatively online.
KerPoof is All About Child Safety First
Certainly the site is very safe for children. All new drawings and creative content that is produced and shared does not go live for others to see until it has been reviewed by the KerPoof team first to check it fits with the siteís etiquette of being children friendly. This is important for keeping out potential predators and it ensures that parents can leave their kids alone to play safely. One of the big benefits KerPoof is the social networking components because it encourages children to interact and to share and cooperate. Yet because this is the paid for option, only the more affluent children will have this available to them; and disadvantaged children will be further disadvantaged. Yet KerPoof has found wide acceptance in schools, and teacher accounts can gain the teacher and classroom additional benefits given that they are group user accounts; things always being cheaper in bulk. That said, the teacher gets a free account which includes a variety of administrative tools to help them to monitor the activities of the classroom and to view assignments online as well as providing the teachers with free lesson plans. KerPoof has won numerous awards from within the childrenís technology industry.