+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17
Educational Software Thread, Stardoll.com and Club Penguin in Technical; Hello All, Supervising our junior school IT room at lunchtime today, I noticed we had a number of children on ...
  1. #1

    dhicks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Knightsbridge
    Posts
    5,792
    Thank Post
    1,315
    Thanked 807 Times in 701 Posts
    Rep Power
    247

    Stardoll.com and Club Penguin

    Hello All,

    Supervising our junior school IT room at lunchtime today, I noticed we had a number of children on stardoll.com. The idea of the site is to drag assorted items of clothing over a 2D image of a pop star / model / celebrity, which seems to illicit responses from our girls along the lines of "Ooh, isn't she pretty in that top?" and "I don't know if that style is quite right for her...". Choking off my natural reaction to bellow "DAMMIT! YOU'RE BETRAYING THE MEMORIES OF THE VALIANT PIONEERS WHO FOUGHT TIRELESSLY THROUGHOUT THE PREVIOUS CENTURY AND TO THIS DAY TO ALLOW WOMEN EQUAL RIGHTS AND AN ESCAPE FROM THE STEREOTYPES THAT CONFINE THEM!" at the nearest 10-year-old, I waited until lunchtime was over and blocked the URL.

    Can anyone suggest a suitible replacement for StarDoll? I suppose a site where you select suitible occupation-related attire for famous female scientists / authors / politicians is too much to hope for?

    Also, Club Penguin: is there any actual educational value to this site, or is it simply that someone had a talent for drawing cute penguins and calling their product "educational" was the only way they could figure to market it?

    --
    David Hicks

  2. #2

    elsiegee40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    10,563
    Thank Post
    1,976
    Thanked 2,520 Times in 1,843 Posts
    Rep Power
    861
    StarDoll and Club Penguin are very popular with primary kids. Most of ours seem to have accounts with one or both - subscriptions paid by their parents at home. They're sort of social networking sites for younger kids. We don't condone or advertise them with their parents, however I was relieved that while the majority of the girls in Years 5 & 6 had these accounts, none of them had bebo or facebook accounts (they're blocked anyway!)

    I haven't blocked them... yet, they are only used by those in our late facilities after they've finished their prep.

  3. #3

    beeswax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    2,285
    Thank Post
    285
    Thanked 225 Times in 153 Posts
    Rep Power
    132
    Whilst I have every sympathy with your indignation David, I worry that you have effectively censored what these pupils do in their free time. I read your posts with interest as they are usually thoughtful and well argued. The care and protection of pupils in schools is paramount, but because the seemingly vacuous Stardoll offends your personal values, is that any reason to stifle it?
    Have you consulted with anyone over this decision?
    Please don't take what I say the wrong way. It may be that I write this because I don't have the same moral certainties as you, and sometimes I spend an age debating with myself if I should ban a particular URL.

  4. #4


    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    8,202
    Thank Post
    442
    Thanked 1,033 Times in 813 Posts
    Rep Power
    341
    I waited until lunchtime was over and blocked the URL.
    You wait? We block the URL first and then crash their browser. This way we can(remotely) laugh at the students as they type, then retype the URL. It's becoming a lunchtime hobby.

    With a bit of Tuxpaint/scratch combination, they could probably make something similar to these sitesthemselves.

  5. #5

    Edu-IT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    7,541
    Thank Post
    409
    Thanked 683 Times in 625 Posts
    Rep Power
    195
    I'm testing a game at the moment called Moshi Monsters and I can see this being quite good for younger children. Kids adopt monsters and then complete puzzles to earn Rox, the games currency. Using Rox they can then purchase items such as furniture or food. I'm told that there is more to come, such as the ability to chat with other monsters.

    I've attached some screenshots. My monster isn't particularly happy and my home is a little basic. The quiz engine keeps failing for me so I can't do the puzzles.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    • File Type: jpg 1.JPG (80.7 KB, 16 views)
    • File Type: jpg 2.JPG (73.0 KB, 6 views)
    • File Type: jpg 3.JPG (63.3 KB, 7 views)
    • File Type: jpg 4.JPG (96.6 KB, 7 views)
    • File Type: jpg 5.JPG (45.4 KB, 7 views)

  6. Thanks to Edu-IT from:

    dhicks (1st February 2008)

  7. #6

    elsiegee40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    10,563
    Thank Post
    1,976
    Thanked 2,520 Times in 1,843 Posts
    Rep Power
    861
    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    You wait? We block the URL first and then crash their browser. This way we can(remotely) laugh at the students as they type, then retype the URL. It's becoming a lunchtime hobby.
    It's a different way of doing things in secondary?

    These sites are no worse than 'My little pony', Flower fairies, barbie or any of the other things our girls love. I'd rather they used them at school and were educated about what is and isn't safe to do.

  8. #7


    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    8,202
    Thank Post
    442
    Thanked 1,033 Times in 813 Posts
    Rep Power
    341
    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    It's a different way of doing things in secondary?

    These sites are no worse than 'My little pony', Flower fairies, barbie or any of the other things our girls love. I'd rather they used them at school and were educated about what is and isn't safe to do.
    I guess it is different. We ban the games sites, the blocking method is just more fun, I think I'd class these as 'games' sites. We operate a split lunchtime so there are limited numbers of supervised computers available, if students want to use the computers for homework then thats fine. Those 'playing' will get kicked (not literally).

  9. #8

    dhicks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Knightsbridge
    Posts
    5,792
    Thank Post
    1,315
    Thanked 807 Times in 701 Posts
    Rep Power
    247
    Quote Originally Posted by beeswax View Post
    Whilst I have every sympathy with your indignation David, I worry that you have effectively censored what these pupils do in their free time.
    Our tuition fees are £3000 a term - any time the pupils spend in our school is most defiantly not free! Seriously, these are prep school pupils (what I would have called middle school when I was their age) - we can't just let them trundle around the Internet completely at will, there has to be a little bit of structure to their time in front of a computer. We'd prefer to have them enjoying themselves and reinforcing positive values at the same time - playing games that make them stretch their minds a little bit and think.

    The care and protection of pupils in schools is paramount, but because the seemingly vacuous Stardoll offends your personal values, is that any reason to stifle it? Have you consulted with anyone over this decision?
    Yes, of course - the head of the prep school, who mentioned that the teaching staff were keen to have the children able to spend lunchtimes in the IT room, but that they didn't want them playing on that particular site. We're a Catholic convent school, so one of the tenants of the school is that we all have a shared set of values. I guess now we can defiantly say that one of those common beliefs is that StarDoll should be blocked!

    Please don't take what I say the wrong way.
    No, your post was much appreciated. That's the thing with email/forums - you can't pick up on inflection and gestures. I meant the original post in a jokey kind of way - I'm not actually going to go and shout feminist rants at a poor ten-year-old playing during their lunch break, and I'm not out-and-out frothing-at-the-mouth mad that a child likes a particular website. However, if I can subtly nudge pupils towards an outlook towards themselves a little more positive than just as a clotheshorse to be admired for their adherence to an accepted standard then I figure the world a just a smidgen better.

    --
    David Hicks

  10. #9

    dhicks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Knightsbridge
    Posts
    5,792
    Thank Post
    1,315
    Thanked 807 Times in 701 Posts
    Rep Power
    247
    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    I'm testing a game at the moment called Moshi Monsters and I can see this being quite good for younger children.
    Thanks for that - certainly looks like worth a test play. Looks like a similar idea to Neopets and Club Penguin. I see, looking at some write-ups about the site, that the proprietor is specifically billing (and designing) the site as "educational" and is avoiding Neopets-esque advertising. Just checked the Club Penguin site - that's fee-paying, advert-free too.

    Hmm, I still don't know - it rather strikes me that allowing these sites in a school is an endorsement for a private company's product, the main purpose of which is to make profit, no matter what their sales bumf says. One pupil gets an all-singing paid-for account, other pupils go home and pester their parents for one...

    --
    David Hicks

  11. #10

    beeswax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    2,285
    Thank Post
    285
    Thanked 225 Times in 153 Posts
    Rep Power
    132
    As the father of two daughters myself and having been a school governor myself, I can appreciate that time spent in school is important, and that structured play is more useful than "dead time" playing online dressing up games, but your ladies are only doing online what generations of young ladies did by dressing up in their parents' clothes. There's a social dimension involved here. Your pupils are interacting and using peer review to assess each other's work, and this can be taken and used elsewhere. These are important developmental stages in a person's life.
    I also think a little R 'n' R is useful for recharging the batteries.
    The first thing on my mind when I woke this morning, actually the second thing, was that you had been slightly tongue in cheek, it had been a long week etc. and that I had perhaps been a little over critical.

  12. #11

    Edu-IT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    7,541
    Thank Post
    409
    Thanked 683 Times in 625 Posts
    Rep Power
    195
    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Thanks for that - certainly looks like worth a test play. Looks like a similar idea to Neopets and Club Penguin. I see, looking at some write-ups about the site, that the proprietor is specifically billing (and designing) the site as "educational" and is avoiding Neopets-esque advertising. Just checked the Club Penguin site - that's fee-paying, advert-free too.

    Hmm, I still don't know - it rather strikes me that allowing these sites in a school is an endorsement for a private company's product, the main purpose of which is to make profit, no matter what their sales bumf says. One pupil gets an all-singing paid-for account, other pupils go home and pester their parents for one...

    --
    David Hicks
    Thought it might be worth pointing out that Moshi Monsters is now out of beta.

  13. #12
    G-Jackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Posts
    41
    Thank Post
    4
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
    Rep Power
    12
    My son is in his second year on Club Penguin and just started SEcondary school be he loves it and I'd say it was the best £37 we've spent.
    Normally we buy a DS or Wii game for about £35 and he's completed it in 2 days - He never get's tired of CP and quite a few of his friends are on it plus a few cyber-friends from around the world.
    As someone pointed out above - it's really a Social Network Site for kids - it's Disney and it's monitored... I don't know if there are any real educational benefits to it or not but I'd rather him be on CP than Bebo which is a horrible site.
    When the time comes and he wan't to move on I think Facebook is the way to go - they are sensible and responsible - unlike the bebo brigade who seem to have a couldn't care less attitude whenever we've tried to report cyber-bullying issues.

  14. #13

    elsiegee40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    10,563
    Thank Post
    1,976
    Thanked 2,520 Times in 1,843 Posts
    Rep Power
    861
    Both my teens are on Facebook and now so am I. I'm 'friends' with both of them so I can keep a quiet eye on what's happening... they enjoyed showing their dim ("You're supposed to know about computers") mother how to use Facebook and how to sort out the privacy!

    Club Penguin and Neopets are ancient history now... stardolls never figured with my daughter in the first place.

  15. #14

    dhicks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Knightsbridge
    Posts
    5,792
    Thank Post
    1,315
    Thanked 807 Times in 701 Posts
    Rep Power
    247
    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    I suppose a site where you select suitible occupation-related attire for famous female scientists / authors / politicians is too much to hope for?
    Come one, it's a year and a half later - still too much to hope for?

    --
    David Hicks

  16. #15
    G-Jackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Posts
    41
    Thank Post
    4
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
    Rep Power
    12
    I've been on Facebook for about 5 months - on the one hand it's great for keeping in touch with all those friends I do want to and often quicker than e-mailing them. On the other hand I often get Facebook messages from Teachers asking why their Laptop is playing up or why such and such Application isn't working.



SHARE:
+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Grid Club Auto-Login
    By in forum Educational Software
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 3rd February 2010, 06:01 PM
  2. The Ex Edugeekers Club
    By mark in forum Other Stuff
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 19th December 2007, 06:55 PM
  3. Unreal Tournament/ games club
    By mark in forum School ICT Policies
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 11th June 2007, 09:39 AM
  4. pogo.com 5 day guest club pass
    By russdev in forum Gaming
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 4th August 2005, 09:07 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •