Wednesday, July 02, 2014
REVIEW: BeSeen - teach cyber safety to pre-teens (best free educational Android kids apps)
Bottom Line: BeSeen is an excellent hands-on introduction to social networking for pre-teens. This app simulates a social media news feed and the user must interact in cyber-safe ways to earn badges. I only wish I had have discovered this app when it was released a couple of years ago.
Price: Fully FREE Size: 12MB
External links to the organisations who contributed to the creation of the app
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Pros/Cons: The newsfeed is extensive and the app would need to be played for hours to achieve all of the badges. It is not something that can be completed in one sitting, which makes it a useful classroom supplement to a program on cyber safety because students could "login" a few times a week and have regular reinforcement of what they are learning in class.
BeSeen has made good use of technology and presented the idea of cyber safety in a relevant and engaging way. It is an excellent quality app that contains no ads or in-app purchases and is completely cost free meaning it is great value. It is easy to see how it would link into school programs and be used by teachers and homeschoolers alike. The subject material is pertinent for our children and any safe practice that we can provide of how to use social media sensibly is going to be a welcome addition to our kids' tablets.
Suggestions for updates: There are no photos in the player's profile account, and no way of viewing other people's photos. This, I believe, is a huge part of pre-teens social media interaction and it would be good to see some more interaction with photos online e.g. sharing/privacy options. There are some photos posted by friends, so it is already included in the app, but I would like to see it playing a bigger part of the interactions. Similarly, sharing of links to videos or other viral webpages should feature more prominently in the game play.
There did not appear to be any way to unfriend people, and how to deal with being unfriended was only lightly touched on during my use of the app. Blocking and being blocked was never mentioned so if that is not already included later on in the app, then that could be a useful addition for future updates.
Summary: A useful tool to open up discussion about safe practices online, or for consolidation of classroom learning. It would need to be used as part of a broader program and discussion with students about their interactions in BeSeen would really make use of it as a coaching tool. Definitely worth downloading and I have not come across anything similar.
Tablet - Samsung Galaxy Tab3 10.1" (Android 4.2.2)
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Cas is excited to discover that Captain Keen is available as an Android app!