After blogging yesterday about my experiences of starting to use social bookmarking sites, it occured to me that directing kids to websites can be fraught with danger, i.e. how can you be sure that the kids will be safe online. Issues of accessing inappropriate content and protecting online identities are just two things which crossed my mind yesterday whilst recommending social booking sites of Diigo.com and Symbaloo.com. Eureka!
Today I came across a site I am likely to be using regularly, commonsensemedia is a website which claims to rate and review movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites, books, and music. For websites it offers a review, as well as a quality rating (up to 5 stars), a learning rating (0-5) and also indicates minimum age appropriateness.
Diigo.com is rated by commonsensemedia.org as a 4 star site, with a learning rating of 3/5. Cautions include altering the privacy settings so you can only be found by trusted users, e.g. friends, and the dangers of accessing inappropriate content through the tagging system is also commented upon. Age appropriateness is given as 13 years upwards.
Symbaloo is rated as a 3 star site, with a learning rating of 2/5 (perhaps because of its restricted interaction capabilities?). Cautions are similiar to Diigo, e.g. online identity and finding inappropriate content. Age appropriateness is given as 13 years upwards too.
This has given me a starting point for discussion with my students and parents about how we navigate the social bookmarking sites I will be using this year in class, e.g. I now know about checking students’ privacy settings in these sites, etc., with the wider general issue of staying safe in the big wide www beyond.