Wednesday, March 25, 2009

KidRocket - Web browser and desktop protection for kids

Probably the most scariest thing for parents is to leave their child on the Internet unattended. But who has the time to monitor everything a child does on the computer or prepare a blacklist of millions of objectionable websites to add to the host file? It’s impossible. If you are facing a similar predicament take a look at KidRocket.

KidRocket is a simple web browser targeted towards kids. Actually, it doesn’t entirely fit the description of a web browser, it’s more like a package with a number of application for kids which also includes a browser. KidRocket’s browser allows the user to view only a handful of kid specific websites included in the browser’s whitelist. Currently the list consist of only 12 websites which includes some popular kid sites like Nick.com, CartoonNetwork.com, PbsKids.org etc. These websites appear as row of thumbnails at the top of the browser and can be opened by clicking on it. The browser has no visible address bar where you can type a URL, so it’s impossible to open any other websites not included in the browser.

kidrocket-main

KidRocket also has an Art tool and a Math application. The Art tool is a simple drawing program for kids with over sized paint brushes and bright colors. The Math tool gives the kid simple math problems to solve, the difficulty of which can be adjusted by the parents from the Admin tool.

In case you are wondering what an art and math tool doing in a browser, there is a good reason. KidRocket also functions as a desktop locking tool. After launching the application, parents can lock KidRocket in place with a password. The application goes full screen and without the correct password the kid cannot exit it to access other items on the computer. This means that once the application is locked with a password the kid cannot open a regular browser to view other websites, or play games or watch movies. Even Ctrl+Alt+Del doesn’t work.

So parents can effectively lock down the computer leaving only KidRocket open with a browser, an art tool and a math quiz. It’s a great tool for working parents.

The only drawback of KidRocket is the inability to add more sites to the browser. Kids get stuck with only 12 websites. There are hundreds of more sites for kids which are not included in the browser. Sure those 12 included sites are regularly updated and provide plenty of games, but sooner or later kids will get tired of it.

Related: Qimo – Linux for kids

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts