Maily – Safe messaging for young children by Goodnews.is happens to be a wonder for keeping communication open between families so often split apart by time and distance, and a great way to begin to teach email etiquette. It offers a teacher/parental interface to make sure kids have a safe contact list in which to email messages and images. Once the safe contact list is established, kids can access and send messages between designated others on their list, through a teacher/parental guided inbox with just a tap to a picture or icon. How wonderful is that? On opening, there is the opportunity to create artwork using pictures, stamps, and other special effects as well as send plain text messages. The creativity involved is by open ended and of course, the child's choice, whether it be photos or drawing or a simple or elaborate design, there is no shortage of fun! They can then send their messages or images off to their designated peeps. The icons for emailing are classic and display a little envelope moving across the screen to its intended recipient. Thus, it ensures to a child that it went to its intended designation through a visual cue. There is so much promise to this app in leading the way to communicating with others from a very early age. Who doesn’t love personal mail? The possible connections between generations as well as the validation of being acknowledged are inherent in the messages sent back and forth. Communication between teachers and students open up learning opportunities on a much more direct and personal level. It is also a good way for teachers to communicate assignments, projects, and deadlines for turning in work. Why not make up a story ala Mad Lib style, and see what silliness you may get, and introduce the joy of collaboration between students. Or better yet, you might have the next best seller floating through your round robin of emails with each child copying and adding their input. What makes Maily rock is its features that keep kids safe, while learning to become citizens of the world. Let’s go through setting up an account so that you can have a peek. On the parental account page, you can see that I have set up an account for Toby with me as a supervising parent/teacher. This is through a parental email as a link to Maily on set-up. Now I am going to add a sibling so that he can begin to send messages. Each child will need to have their own accounts to send or receive personal mail; however, more than one child per family can be on a single parental account. You can add friends, relatives, and even classmates under Contacts. Once an invitation is sent, it must be acknowledged to begin. You can set up to have all mail by the child cc’d to you if you want to check content or use it as a teaching tool to go over with a child later. The hardest part for me was realizing this was the account for a child, and as a parent/teacher, your role was to support them in becoming more independent rather than using it simply as a means to email your child. While emailing within the app to others has been flawless, I have had some difficulties adding people. Goodness.is has been vigilant in responding to customers and wants to know your feedback. They are a devoted company in helping improve the lives of children and families. I would definitely recommend Maily for home and school use, as the opportunities to learn to communicate across mediums is so accessible and allows for expansion of skills on many levels. It would be quite easy to set up a curriculum using Maily to teach kids how to email, and also current and much needed digital etiquette.
Written by Jo Booth
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play every day; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.
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