Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Welcome to HandLand-a safe virtual world for your children to explore.

Handipoints (HandiLand) is a virtual space for families where kids' everyday ‘real world’ chores earn them big prizes and new adventures in a safe online environment that is controlled and monitored by parents.  

Virtual worlds are online spaces where kids create avatars (kind of like cartoon characters) through which they communicate, socialize, learn, shop, play games, and generally express themselves. There are hundreds of virtual worlds on the Web aimed at users of all ages. Some aimed at young children have controlled text chat, "profanity filters" to block offensive or sexually related chat, and staff or contractors moderating user behaviour – you'll want to check for these safety features. Parents also need to know that there are worlds kids can find and access which are not designed for them.

Unlike other children’s Web sites, Handipoints joins offline tasks, such as cleaning their room and brushing their teeth, with online entertainment and games to teach children the value of their work and foster good behaviour. While they’re having fun, children learn about saving money and building responsible habits - and parents get a helping hand with positive reinforcement that is educational at the same time.”

Kids can walk around the virtual world and talk to each other using canned chat- they choose statements from a list instead of typing them. This stops inappropriate or bullying behaviour. The graphics are impressive and the functionality is rather sophisticated. In addition to buying items and socialising, kids can play in-world games and watch movies -being rewards these require points to be earned, too.

HandiLand combines a fun virtual world for children with tools to teach responsibility, which should make it a favorite with the parents who actually decide which sites to introduce their young ones to. Parents maintain lots of control over what behaviors to encourage in their children, and how to reward them. The site is free to use and parents who don’t want to spend money can choose to only use only virtual rewards.
Adapted from Killerstartups.

Read more about Handipoints at CrunchBase

Saturday, March 19, 2011

School Banking starts this week-Have some fun with Coinland.

With Coinland, children can have fun learning money management skills including how to earn money, saving and the consequences of spending in a safe, virtual world, and then start applying their new found skills as they start to use money in the real world.

Read this Media Release for more information on Coinland.
For further videos that outline Coinland.
For more tools to help your children develop financial literacy: Teaching kids about money

School Banking - starts this Tuesday

Our School Banking program offers a Rewards Program that’s designed to teach kids about money, help them develop good saving habits and give them the confidence and independence to make sound financial decisions. With hands-on learning experience, we can help children grow into financially savvy adults.

Friday, March 4, 2011

There's a new My School Site

The NSW Department of Education and Training Director-General, Michael Coutts-Trotter, explains what's new in version two of the My School website.

The new site provides more information about Australia's almost 10,000 schools, including financial details such as income and capital expenditure.

It will also provide information about student progress based on the results of the 2008 and 2010 National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests.

My School, which is administered by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), was first released in 2010.
 (ACARA) is the independent authority responsible for the development of a national curriculum, a national assessment program and a national data collection and reporting program that supports 21st century learning for all Australian students.
ACARA’s work is carried out in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, including teachers, principals, governments, State and Territory education authorities, professional education associations, community groups and the general public.

A clickable map of Australia's states and main...Image via Wikipedia

 To find your school  visit the MySchool find a school
To understand some of the vocabulary on the MySchool site visit the glossary.