The move to online learning has been a huge adjustment for teachers, kids and families alike. Without school, we’re all feeling a sense of loss of structure, connection and community. That’s why we’re loving Messenger Kids, a free messaging and video chat app that provides a safer way for kids between the ages of 6 and 12 to connect with friends and family.
Why teachers love it:
Building community is one of the most important things teachers do. A classroom community helps students feel valued and connected. And feeling connected allows kids to learn responsibility and build social skills. Messenger Kids provides kids with a safe place to maintain and nourish important friendships.
Why parents love it:
With Messenger Kids, parents can have confidence that their children are communicating safely with friends and family. The Parent Dashboard allows parents to manage their child’s contact list and gives them visibility into how their children are using the app. There are no ads or in-app purchases to worry about either.
Why kids love it:
Messenger Kids has adorable kid-friendly filters, reactions and sound effects that make conversations more fun. In addition, there are loads of stickers, GIFs, emojis, and drawing tools kids can use to creatively express themselves.
How to get it:
Getting the Messenger Kids app is easy. Check out the Messenger Kids’ parent resource section with everything you need to know, including tips on how to get started, controls for parents, and how to add friends.
Messenger Kids helps cultivate digital citizenship and wellbeing.
In addition to being a handy tool to help kids stay connected, Messenger Kids empowers young people to participate in our increasingly digital world in a safe and healthy way. We’ve also put together resources from Facebook’s Get Digital program, available in the Messenger Kids Parent Resource Hub, to help kids practice these skills. Here are a few concepts they will learn.
- Privacy is important. It’s essential for kids to understand privacy in order to stay safe online. They need to know what kinds of information they should keep to themselves and the situations in which they should or should not share specific information.
- Online presence matters. Understanding and appreciating different perspectives is an important part of navigating online communication. Messenger Kids helps young people build an awareness of how they are perceived as well as how they perceive others.
- Healthy engagement is a must. Just as we all encourage qualities in our children that result in kind and supportive relationships, we need to teach them how online behaviors can play a role in both healthy and unhealthy relationships.
- A digital skillset is essential. The unexpected change to online learning has taught us all that being able to communicate and participate via technology is unquestionably important. Our students’ hopes and dreams for the future depend on being digitally competent.
- Technology and social media hold tremendous power. When people use technology in line with their core values, there is great potential to create positive change.
Online learning has changed the way we do education in a radical way. It’s more important than ever for kids to stay in touch with friends and family and Messenger Kids makes it easy for them to stay connected in a safe, fun way.