What can children do in ChatterFire?

Write an article for the magazines

In ChatterFire, there are magazines on different themes – we have an ‘Our Planet’ magazine, for example, with information about geography topics such as fairtrade, electricity, and global warming. A ‘Classics’ magazine enables users to explore the ancient world and try their hand at Latin. Children can collaborate and write articles for the magazines to showcase their interests and talents, and to discuss mature topics with their peers.

Earn the badge awards

Children have the opportunity to earn the badge awards, mapped to ICT curriculum guidelines in England and Wales. There are ten activities for each Badge, and these can be earned in any order. The Bronze badge shows children how to use the ChatterFire site. Through the Silver badge, children learn about online safety, including everything from viruses, to security, to responsible behaviour. The Gold badge encourages children to begin to use the Internet as a resource to find information.

Post in the forums

ChatterFire contains over 40 forum topics, in which children can talk to each other about specific things. A general chat forum has also been created, which allows members to discuss general issues and to make new friends. Forum topics make use of new technologies such as AJAX, which means that all new posts are displayed in almost real-time, making the experience fun and exciting. Posting in the forums is a valuable learning activity and improves children’s social skills and writing ability.

Send friendship badges

In ChatterFire, members can befriend other children aged between seven and eleven. Using ChatterFire’s safe email service, children can keep a list of their pen-pals in an address book, and keep in touch by sending messages to each other. However, it is also possible to send a friendship badge to mark a momentous occasion or just for fun. These badges cost ‘points’, which can be earned for helpful behaviour or good effort.

Design personal homepages

The ‘My Site’ feature in ChatterFire allows children to unlock their creative side! Using a flexible BB code system, members can create up to four personal pages about any topic they wish. The background, font, theme, layout, border and content are fully customisable, and children can create their design before publishing the finished page for others to see.

Edit uploaded photos

Children can upload their photographs to ChatterFire, and edit them with professional effects and filters using Picmonkey (formerly Picnik). Once complete, the image can be displayed in the public gallery for other members to use in articles and on homepages. To keep children safe, all pictures are moderated before they are uploaded, and no personally recognisable photos are permitted.