Friday, October 24, 2008

Internet Browsers for Children and Special Needs

Teachers and parents of younger children or of children with special needs might want to check out some of the Internet browsers designed especially for these kids. The browsers are used instead of Internet Explorer or Firefox and limit the web sites that children can access.

The ZAC Browser was created by a grandfather for his autistic grandson, Zackary. The grandfather, who is in the software business, then made the browser available to others for free. The ZAC Browser (ZAC stands for "Zone for Autistic Children") can be downloaded and installed on your computer or just run from the ZAC web site without installation. The browser runs on the Windows platform, including Vista. Learn more about the ZAC Browser by visiting the web site or by watching the video below.




Other browsers that restrict children's access to web sites include the KidzCD browsers. These were developed by the same company that produced the ZAC Browser and can be downloaded or just run from the web site. Special versions of the KidzCD browsers are available for different age groups: 0-6, 7-12, 13+ without chat feature, and 13+ with chat. The browsers advertise as being spyware, adware, and virus free. Since there is no address bar built in, children cannot type in addresses to visit web sites outside the KidzCD environment. However, the browser has many, many games, stories, videos, links to web sites, and other activities to keep kids safely entertained.

2 comments:

  1. You should check out KidZui, The Internet for Kids.

    Designed for kids ages 3-12, KidZui is a revolutionary new browser and service that offers youngsters the full wondrousness of the Internet, giving them access to over 1.5 million parent- and teacher-approved websites, videos, games, and pictures, as well as completely safe social networking features.

    Let me know if you'd like to learn more!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Since I first read this post last October I have experimented with these browsers with my 3 year old. She is not a special needs child but I feel has benefited none the less. She absolutely loves Zac Browser and I highly recommend it to anyone with preschool age children. It locks up the rest of the computer so the child can't accidentally "mess things up." It also is rich and diverse enough to allow her to always experience something new. She can also work this program entirely autonomously and I can tell she is learning from it. Just the other day I gave her 5 fruit snacks. She asked me if she could have 3 more so she could have 8. I know I have not worked with her on addition so I asked her how she learned how to add numbers and she told me "My Games."

    Thank you for this post!

    ReplyDelete

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