Monday, August 9, 2010

With so many safety No-No's,
Secret Builders earns this moms
YES!

DON'T talk to strangers!
NEVER tell someone you are home alone!
NEVER accept a strangers candy OR get in their car!
DO NOT walk home alone!
These are only a few things we preach to our children, as we teach them to be safety minded individuals.

The internet is no different.
NEVER use your real name!
DO NOT give out personal information on the internet!
DON'T believe someone just because they say they are a 12 year old friend!
NEVER meet with someone you have met on the internet!!!

Many 'seemingly harmless' social networking sites have become nothing more than a hunting ground for predators who are on the prowl!
We surely can't lock our children away to keep them safe, and let's face it-
the internet is NOT going to go away!
Therefore, as parents all we can really do is teach our children good safety rules, remain involved, and be vigilant.

Once my son graduated from Elmo's world, Thomas the Train, and Nick Jr, I quickly realized that I'd best be on my toes!
As soon as he'd show me a site that I thought was ok, he'd turn around and prove me wrong by clicking on an external link at the bottom of the page.
I was horrified to learn that with a few clicks, my son could go from 'fun math facts' to 'kill 'em all DEAD DEAD DEAD!'
YIKES!

I was leary when he told me about a new site called 'Secret Builders'
Especially when he mentioned that it's a chat site.
My first thought was,
'And it's a secret Why???'
PLUS
I'm not ready for my son to be in chat~
even though he is!
BUT, I have an open mind, and I promised that I'd check out Secret Builders with him. I'm glad I did!

SecretBuilders is a virtual world for children 5 to 14 years old powered by a web 2.0 community of children, parents, educators, writers, artists and game developers. On SecretBuilders, children will explore virtual lands, undertake quests, play games, maintain a home, nurture a pet, and interact with their friends. Three features which form the backdrop for SecretBuilders distinguish it from other online worlds:

* Children learn through immersing themselves in the stories, themes, and concepts from the best in literature, arts and humanities. They will interact with famous historical and fictional figures and be introduced to content and characters from world civilization and the great thoughts and ideas of human creativity.

* Children will create this site, not just consume it. They are directly involved in creating this world with their ideas, critiques and contributions on virtually every aspect of the site and many of their ideas will be implemented!


* Children publish their works – writings, art, videos – making SecretBuilders their own personal store of creativity. They can invite friends and family to view their works, and comment upon them. Seeing their works published and enjoyed by others instills tremendous for self-confidence as well as motivation to do more.
Secret Builders~About Us

I helped my lil'guy open an account in Secret Builders, then I spent a great deal of time doing what I always do...
I surfed the site & Here's what this mammabear found:

1) There are NO external links! Yay!
2) Since I signed him up, I have the right to cancel his account.
3) Secret Builders has many games...NONE of them promote violence!
4) There are many ways for a child to actually learn something...
even if they didn't mean to!
5) Secret Builders has rules for chatting!
These rules include giving out personal information.
ANYONE breaking these rules can be banned!
It's a great introduction into the world of chat.

I do have one confession...
My son was having a good time in Secret Builders.
TOO good of a time.
Sooooo, what's a mammabear to do?
YEP! I got my very own account, and now I'm a member of Secret Builders too.
It's a great way to remain involved in my son's internet activities,
and, we have a great time playing games together!

OK...
So I've been busted playing Secret Builders all by myself!
So again I say, 'What's a mammabear to do?'


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