Silly adults. Social networks are for kids (too)!
Although my interests lie in technology use in higher education, I stumbled upon an interesting article, Child-friendly social networking tools, in the eSchool News.
Many child-friendly applications have been created for students in the K-12 realm, which include various security and privacy features to keep educators at ease. These arenas allow schools to develop online learning communities within their classroom, schools and/or school districts.
The article describes more specifics about the following tools:
I think an introduction to these types of technologies in school at an early age is excellent. This provides a great classroom model and hands-on experience for the instruction with various tools, i.e. wikis, blogs, and more! Students learn to design, create, share and interact with their peers online for learning.
Most students in higher education are VERY aware of social networking tools. The only issue is that many college students would not think to utilize these online technologies to support learning and academic success (unless their current faculty is ‘hip’ to the technology jive). To best support academic learning in the later years, instructors need to use these online resources during formative, educational years.