By Sharon Duke Estroff
I chose Poptropica.com as the site of my latest undercover mom investigation because of its first-place ranking in the 5-to-10-year-old bracket. With 20 million unique accounts and counting, it is indeed a heavy hitter in the burgeoning children’s virtual world market.
But I was also intrigued by the Poptropica’s educational spin. The site’s parent company is Family Education Network (FEN), developers of one of my favorite teaching resources, Funbrain.com. As worthy a site as Funbrain may be, however, it’s not the kind a kid would visit voluntarily without the urging of a parent, educator, or academic tutor. Could a children’s Web site as hopping as Poptropica possibly be on the same educational plain as Funbrain? I was determined to find out what kind of fare this populous virtual world was really serving up.
What I Liked About Poptropica
Next week: What I’m not so crazy about in Poptropica.
For an index of the complete Undercover Mom series to date, please click here.