If you’ve been following my advice here on Be Web Smart, you’ve locked down your child’s iPod, restricting them from purchasing apps and viewing videos on YouTube, and you’ve installed a kid-safe browser. And your kids might be wondering, well what can I do now?!? So I’m more than pleased to write about an app that kids can enjoy and parents don’t have to worry about.
KidzVuz is a new app but the KidzVuz website isn’t new. With KidzVuz kids can create video reviews of the things they love – such as books, movies, games, sports and food – and comment and “like” each other’s videos, all in a safe and supportive environment. What sets KidzVuz apart is that each and every video is reviewed by an actual adult person before it is allowed on the site.
KidzVuz complies with COPPA (the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) meaning parents must approve their child’s account, among other things. They have a very informative page for Parents that explains all about the protections in place on the site and in the app.
For a thorough review I had my daughter (HippyChippy) download the app on her iPod touch. She was up for the challenge of reviewing the app for Be Web Smart readers!
Her first step was to sign up for an account. KidzVuz only asks for first name and last initial. No real names are used within the app, only usernames chosen during sign-up. A parent’s e-mail is required and parents must confirm and okay the new account. After my daughter completed the sign-up form, I received an e-mail. Only after I confirmed the account could she create a video.
My daughter used a button in the app to record her video – a review of a new frozen yogurt shop nearby. She followed the guidance provided to produce her video. For example, kids are told not to include their real name, address, town, school, or any other personally identifiable information. Also on the NO list are:
- Cyber bullying, gossip or rude/negative comments about another user’s review
- Full or partial nudity
- Obscene and/or offensive material or language (that includes song lyrics)
- Violent Content – real or pretend
- Dangerous stunts
- Negative stereotypes
Once recorded she submitted the video. It did not appear on KidzVuz right away; as mentioned all videos are reviewed before posting. When she checked the next day, her video was there!
Here’s what HippyChippy has to say:
“I think that KidzVuz is a good way to get ideas and reviews from fellow kids. I had fun recording my review, and I’ve already got 50 views! The one problem I had was with the app version of KidzVuz. The app is slower and is a bit more confusing. So I recommend making and submitting your video on the app, but browsing through reviews and friends on the computer.
If other kids want to make a review, the most important thing I would suggest is the time of the review. I find that many reviews go on and on, some even for over 10 minutes. I think that all reviews should be 3 minutes or under, because no one likes videos that drag on. I would definitely create another review in the future, and other kids should too!”
According to one of the KidzVuz founders, the next version of the app is already in production. One change will be the ability to customize your avatar from within the app; right now you can only do that on the website.
Parents if you are looking to get your kids off of YouTube introduce them to KidzVuz. It has the HippyChippy stamp of approval!