Friday, January 22, 2010

Website Review: Poptropica

"Poptropica is a massively multiplayer online game and virtual world, targeted at children ages 6 to 15, where players can travel, play games, compete in head-to-head competition, and communicate safely with each other. There is a role-playing component as players are encouraged to finish "island missions" and get medallions."

Your job is to check out the site Poptropica. You will write a review of the site. You will address these three things:

1. What ages is this appropriate for?
2. How safe is this game for children?
3. How fun is the site?

Finally, you will either recommend this site or not recommend it.

I plan to introduce this site to our fourth grade in April if you find it meets our requirements.


Anonymous said...

My question is - What educational value do you see in Poptropica? How will you justify its use in covering GLEs/curriculum? How will you monitor student communication?

John Hadley Strange said...

I guess I am a bit too old to play the game. But I think I will forward this to my grandchildren who fit in this age group and get their reviews. I'll keep you posted!

Wm Chamberlain said...

@anonymous I find educational value in all new experiences. I spent some time on the site and noticed there is a fair amount of critical thinking involved. There is also the skill of being able to move around your avatar.

The class that is reviewing the site is an elective. I use the NETS to help guide what I have them do. GLE justification is easy, they communicate through writing (not that I feel the need to justify my students' learning from the GLE's!)

As far as monitoring goes, I can't monitor all their conversations on line any more than I can monitor all their conversations in the school. I trust my students to do the right thing. Some times they make mistakes, that makes them very similar to myself ;)

diane said...


Even if the site is of limited educational value (I have not accessed it myself), the critical evaluation activity addresses a vital component of information fluency and good digital citizenship.

Aimee Cotton Bogush said...

My 11 year old loves the site and will hopefully write a comment when she's done creating her WWII project ;-)

MikeMcilveen said...

Kids love sites like this one. We need to budget our use of online time in the classroom, yet allow for what kids find really exciting and relevant. I'm simply arguing for a little fun, online literacy, excitement and a learning environment that reflects the students' current world. This is really not an option anymore.

Wm Chamberlain said...

@Aimee I can't wait to read it! Getting outside reviews is really helpful to me, I am very careful how I direct the little amount of time my students get to use the technology and I want to make sure they (fourth graders) have only good experiences.
Mr. C

kimberly.covey said...

I have explored around Poptropica for a little while and it made me think of games that I played while growing up. I remember playing Carmen Sandiego the best because I played it when I was about 12 or 13. I like playing games like that because they were challenging and enticing. Also, "Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?" helped me remember thing that helped me in my high school history classes. I believe this game may help children do the same thing.

I personally believe that it is easier for children to learn when they are having fun learning. In a typical classroom situation where the teacher is simply lecturing, it is not as easy for the children to learn. Especially in this day and age where children are over stimulated by television-- classrooms in comparison are absolutely dull. Teachers need sites like this to keep their students educated.

Aimee Cotton Bogush said...

Emma Bogush's review: Poptropica is a fun site. I have an account on the game. The game is appropriate for ages 5-6 to around 14-15. I think it is a very safe game. And it is very fun and very educational...there are puzzles and brain games, and many other many fun games.