I first met Henry Platten over the phone about 3 1/2 years ago when he and his partner had got in touch with me about their brilliant pupil e-safety ambassadorship programme, eCadets.
Since then, he and I have conversed many times about our collective work. Rarely do you meet someone as passionate about making a difference to kids. It’s reflected in how hard the team at eCadets work and their whole approach and ethos around online safety for young people. It’s that mentality, ethos and approach which has been reflected in their latest product, GoBubble available via the web or as an App on Android or on iOS. It’s free for schools via the website and the app is currently £3 for families and schools although the plan is to make it entirely free for schools.
There are a number of features that I really like but in the meantime, let me share the press release about GoBubble with you:
The age limit on using sites like Facebook may be 13 but that does not stop four out of five primary school kids admitting to using social media at least once a day.* Determined to give parents and teachers the tools to deal with this growing trend, former police sergeant and e-safety guru, Henry Platten took matters into his own hands, developing a safe social media platform that young children can use.
GoBubble from eCadets puts an end to unwanted friend requests, dubious content and the potential for cyber-bullying. It allows children to take advantage of the best bits of social media without any of the negative aspects. With GoBubble children can chat online with school friends, share jokes, pictures or videos and learn about different cultures by making new friends of the same age from around the world.
“We need to accept that our kids love social media and will use it no matter what the age limit is, so my view is, don’t ban them, just provide them with a safe alternative that has all of the up sides but none of the down sides,” says Henry Platten founder of the multi-award winning eCadets pupil-led online safety education programme. “GoBubble is that safe alternative.”
GoBubble is safe because it puts the child’s school at the centre of their social media network. The school signs its pupils up, with parental approval, and children can safely talk to children in their own class, school, or even with children the same age in schools around the world.
All posts are automatically moderated through the system’s safety features, ensuring any inappropriate video, images, text, audio or emojis, are removed before going live. There’s also an award-winning live moderation team who review any flagged messages. And it has been awarded a PEGI 3 rating – the safest age rating available from the governing body (Pan European Gaming Information).
Chief Constable, Greater Manchester Police, Ian Hopkins; who is also the national police lead for social media and digital engagement, who are headline partners in GoBubble, said: “Young people use social media to talk to each other and it’s really important they’re able to do so in a safe environment. As a social network, GoBubble is just that, a bubble where children are given all the fun of social media, in complete safety. We look forward to using it to support our education work with under 13s.”
Schools are already using the platform to help children collaborate on school projects, learn about new cultures, develop pen pals, teach children about safe social media use, and send parents messages via the site.
So that’s the press release but there’s so much more to it than that. For example, the artificial intelligence that is going on behind the scenes behind this app is groundbreaking. Not only does it recognise naughty words but it recognises naughty images too. Whether the images are taken with the camera of the person or even if there was something inappropriate on the TV, GoBubble can pick it up. It flags it to their moderation team and they can alert the teacher or the parent or both and stop the post from going live too. It can share that back to the teacher or the parent or both and stop the post from going live too. There are lots of really clever features to help make this a really safe environment for children to be able to safely engage in social media, without the worry or risk that is usually associated with it.
Interested? It can open up lots of opportunities for learning being social in a safe way in the classroom and is really worth a look. They’ve even got starter packs to help you get going with it in your school and more resources here too >>bit.ly/GoBubbleLaunchPack.
Find out more by visiting the GoBubble website and start using the child-friendly social network for kids.