SRC along with WFSU recently launched the PBS KIDS GO!  FacePlace.  Trisha Moynihan will be answering SP&I's questions about the new, free online site that gives children the chance to learn, while dipping their toes into the new age of social media.

1. Please describe the WFSU FacePlace for our readers.

Check here for more info: 
FacePlace, hp.JPGThe project, named FacePlace, was designed for children attending grades 1-5, and was inspired by popular social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.  The creators' vision was to allow a space where children could create a space of their own online - like so many of the adults around them.  While users cannot upload their own photos or add friends to their profiles, they can customize their profile spaces through multiple interactive and educational activities and share their profile pages with whomever they choose.  Users can choose a popular PBS Kids Go! character's face to represent themselves and their profiles.

Faceplace2.JPGEach activity on PBS Kids Go! FacePlace has been created with children's learning and lifestyle goals in mind.  Examples of activities include Sherlock & Watson's Scene Detective - a writing activity where users are asked to use knowledge of writing styles to create user-created stories based on Sherlock & Watson scenes.  Users can save up to three stories on their profiles and share any of the stories with family or friends.

Another educational activity, WordGirl Exercise Your Lexicon, features WordGirl and her loquacious gang.  WordGirl and Captain Huggy Face challenge users to match 15 antonyms as fast as they can.  There are two levels: easy and difficult.  A timer keeps track of the user's progress and fastest times are posted on all profile pages.

WFSU encourages teachers to use FacePlace as a tool to supplement classroom learning.  A teachers' guide, with suggestions on how each of the activities can be used in group-learning activities, is available to interested parties free-of-charge.  Please contact the WFSU Educational Outreach department (850/487-3170 x325) if you would like to receive a copy of your own.
2. What station or community need(s) are you fulfilling with this project?

Educational outreach and giving teachers and parents a place on where learning can take place in an engaging and interactive manner.

3. Generally, describe the resources it took to create the WFSU Faceplace, and the resources required to maintain it. 

A grant was received from CPB.  We hired a Flash programmer.  3 FSU staff worked on the project.  2 will work to keep it updated, although since the project is user customized, we foresee minimal updates for at least a period of 3 years.

4.  Can this project be adopted by other stations?
 YES!!! Please do.  To implement WFSU's Faceplace on your site visit Station Remote Control .

5. What sage words or wisdom do you have for other stations who may want to put something similar in motion?

These types of projects take lots of time and knowledge.  Be sure you have a staff dedicated to thinking through and fully testing the module (in many different places). 

We learned not to procrastinate and to set limits.  A project of this magnitude will have a life of its own, and without a large staff, you will be spending a lot of time trying to control it!
6. Does WFSU have additional have additional successes to share?
We're proud of the project and would like as many stations and classrooms as possible to utilize it.

Trisha, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.  If you have additional question for Trisha, please post them below.

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