KidZui, The Internet for KidsFall 2009 Website
While KidZui is free, it also offers a paid membership (about $40 for a semi-annual subscription) with extras that include a Homework Helper feature and the ability to block individual websites, among two dozen other listed benefits. Kid-friendly features include spelling corrections for search requests, and suggested searches that include corresponding pictures to make searches easier for early readers. Kids can save favorite channels as they browse and those choices are displayed on the KidZui homepage so kids can easily find favorites on return visits and so parents can see preferences; also, the site has no chat, no written text and no email feature. However, kids do have the ability to tag favorites, share content with friends, "ping" friends to say hi; and see friends come online and what their interests are. KidZui creators claim they created the KidZui browser to offer kids the same expansive experience adults have on the web and they partnered with Comcast Interactive Media to deliver a comprehensive Internet portal for kids and families. With easy navigation features, colorful graphics and video, and plenty of features that help parents stay involved and informed, KidZui, The Internet for Kids is a useful and potentially free site that helps kids learn how to surf in proverbial safer water.
However, because this is a search engine with access to over 2 million games, websites, videos and photos, the number and types of pop-ups vary; and, it's always possible that unsuitable content or advertisement rotations could be added to websites and might be seen by kids before KidZui has the chance to remove them, so in terms of online safety, parents must keep in mind that this kid-friendly site is a helpful tool but it's not a magic wand, so the same rules of online safety should apply here and be strongly enforced.