Browsing articles in "Age 9-15"

Wi-Fi: Convenient But Dangerous

Jun 30, 2014   //   by Abdul   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Wi-Fi: Convenient But Dangerous

WIFIWi-Fi is something that most of us have at home, work and school. To most of us, it is a harmless and convenient way to connect to the internet. But, with convenience comes risks.

Many of us use Wi-Fi because it is a lot more convenient than running a wire to every single computer in the house, it also allows us to be more portable with a laptop, tablet or any other mobile device. Although Wi-Fi may seem like such a blessing, what are they negative effects? The effects that we don’t hear a lot about. There are two different types of concerns that arise when looking into the negative aspects of Wi-Fi, the health concerns and the safety risks.

The safety risks of Wi-Fi are quite dangerous, and although we cannot completely avoid these risks, we can reduce them quite significantly by follow some basic measures. Some of the threats that users need to be aware of are:

  • If you do not have a strong Wi-Fi password, others can “piggyback” off your Wi-Fi, which essentially means that anyone with the right knowledge can use your Wi-Fi without you knowing.
  • A hacker can intercept the data that you are sending to a website, all he or she needs is to be in range of your Wi-Fi network, and the right knowledge.
  • If you are on a public Wi-Fi network like at a coffee shop, for example), it is quite easy for hackers to know what you are doing.

So, what are some ways to prevent these risks? Although it is impossible to be completely safe on the internet, here are some ways to reduce the risks you are exposed to when using a Wi-Fi Network?

  • Have a strong Wi-Fi password that is not easy to guess. Using a combination of, special characters ([email protected]#$%^&), both uppercase and lower case letters and numbers will give you the strongest possible password.
  • Having a strong password for your router. Most people are not aware of this, but most routers have a password to access the routers settings, and many users leave the default password that manufacturer has set, which is very easy for any hacker to guess, and once he or she has access to your routers settings, he or she will have no problem invading your privacy.
  • When using public Wi-Fi networks, ensure that you have the “file sharing” feature on your device disabled, and remember to enter any confidential information online when using public Wi-Fi networks.

So far, we’ve only looked at the safety concerns of Wi-Fi networks, but, what about the health concerns? Although there is no hard proof that Wi-Fi is harmful as it is a relatively new technology, so it is not clear how it can affect us in the long term. But, from research that scientists have gathered so far, it seems that Wi-Fi can cause insomnia, headaches, poor concentration, fatigue, and even tumors. Although it’s not possible for us to get away from the waves that these Wi-Fi devices emit, we can reduce our exposure by turning the router off at nights or when no one is using the internet. These results are only from preliminary studies, and only time will tell how Wi-Fi devices really affect us.

In conclusion, Wi-Fi is a very essential technology for this generation, but it may also be the most dangerous. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of this technology and make sure to play it safe!


Salmah checks out Disney’s Frozen

Jun 17, 2014   //   by Salmah   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Salmah checks out Disney’s Frozen

FrozenCheck this out!
Disney’s Frozen

Why it’s cool
[SPOILER ALERT!] I think the movie Frozen is cool because it is not like other Disney movies. Usually a prince saves the princess, but in Frozen a sister ends up saving her sister.

I laughed a lot in this movie because Olaf, the snowman, says some very funny things (he thinks he can live through summer!).

I also love singing the songs from the movie, they are very catchy. My favourite song is “Let It Go”. If you stand outside my bathroom, you will most likely hear me singing this song in the shower.

Is it entertaining, educational or a little of both?
I think that that you should watch this movie. Frozen is very entertaining because it is funny and it is educational because it makes me use my imagination.

If I could be one of the characters, I would be Elsa. I love ice and would LOVE to live in an ice palace. One day I’d love to stay in the ICEHOTEL in Sweden or go on an adventure to the “White Desert” in Antarctica!


Emily checks out Little Alchemist

May 20, 2014   //   by Emily   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Emily checks out Little Alchemist
Little Alchemist

Little Alchemist

Check this out!
Little Alchemist app for iPhone/iPod/iPad

Why is it cool?
Little Alchemist is a game where you battle the computer or other people with cards.

It is cool because of many things. First of all you get to create and discover card combos for use in battle. Second you can battle the computer or other people on the internet, and when you beat them you get stars and coins. Stars level you up, and you can buy card packs with coins. In card packs you get new cards that you can level up. When you level your cards up they get stronger and make you more likely to beat the people you battle.

You can also change your avatar. You get new avatars after you get achievements. Mine is currently a unicorn but there are a lot more. For example, a wizard, a super hero dragon, and many, MANY more!

You can also participate in special events. In special events you can win diamond and gold cards which have really good attack and defence.

Is it educational?
Somewhat. You need to plan strategies in advance, and you learn how to manage money for card packs. There is also some basic math.


Abdul discusses being safe online

May 12, 2014   //   by Abdul   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Abdul discusses being safe online
kmc kids' panellist Abdul offers some tips on being safe online.

kmc kids’ panellist Abdul offers some tips on being safe online.

The Internet is like a whole new world with endless possibilities. This world, known as the World Wide Web, can be very beneficial, bringing everything from knowledge to entertainment.

But with good comes bad. The Internet can be a very dangerous place, being the bread and butter of crooks and thieves. Everyone has been warned at some point in their life to “be safe online”, but how exactly are you supposed to be safe online?

Why it’s cool

The Internet may just be the coolest place you’ve ever been. This is because of what you can do on the Internet: reading the news, talking to a friend on a social networking website, playing a game, watching a TV show, et cetera. The possibilities are endless! Not only is the Internet entertaining, it is also educational!

The dangers of the Internet may be one of the reasons many people are scared to spend much time on it. Being tracked online and having your personal information so easily available can make people very vulnerable.

One of the easiest ways to get information on people are social networking websites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Although these websites can be dangerous for adults, they can be even more dangerous for children and youth. This is because younger people are a lot more vulnerable than experienced adults.

It is very easy to communicate with people on the Internet, but you cannot know for sure who you are communicating with. It is very easy to claim to be someone you are not online.

So now the question is: How do you keep yourself safe online?

Here are some tips on being safe online:

  • Have strong passwords that cannot be guessed easily (like your birthday)
  • Limit the information you share online
  • Set your privacy settings to fit your needs (most social media websites have options to tweak your settings as to who can view your profile, see your posts, et cetera)
  • Do not accept friend requests from someone you do not know personally
  • Have some sort of firewall or anti-virus software on your computer

These are some tips that will help you be safe while enjoying your time online! Have fun!


Jahmari checks out Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen

Apr 17, 2014   //   by Jahmari   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Jahmari checks out Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen
Flappy Bird, created by Dong Nguyen

Flappy Bird, created by Dong Nguyen

Check this out
Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen

What’s cool!
The game app Flappy Bird features a chubby bird with small wings you manoeuvre through pipes by tapping the screen.

Something cool about Flappy Bird is that it became a global phenomenon! It hit the top of the charts on Apple and Google Play becoming one of the most downloaded apps.

But you can also play Flappy Bird on a computer. Everything’s the same on any device.

According to the Wall Street Journal, game developer Dong Nguyen said “he didn’t intend for people to play the game for hours at a time, as many gamers appear to have done.”

“That was the main negative so I decided to take it down,” Nguyen told the Wall Street Journal.

When Nguyen said he was taking the game down, people thought it was a publicity stunt to drum up interest in future games he is working on.

People have been taking screen shots of their high scores. Nguyen said his high score is 150.

Some people were selling their phones on eBay for $134,295 just because they have the sensational app Flappy Bird.

Some gaming industries were shocked that Nguyen deleted the game because he was making $50,000 a day in advertising revenue!

Nguyen said he, “disconnected himself from the Internet and hasn’t checked his emails for days.” Also, Nguyen is on a vacation from his job at Firmware and isn’t sure if or when he will return to work.

You can still play Flappy Bird if you have already downloaded it or you can play it on websites like that have Flappy Bird on it.

Is it entertaining, educational or a little bit of both?
It is entertaining because who doesn’t love a good video game? And you can challenge your friend to see who gets a higher score. Who doesn’t like a good challenge?


Emily checks out Hatch for iPhone/iPod Touch

Feb 17, 2014   //   by Emily   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Emily checks out Hatch for iPhone/iPod Touch
Hatch app for iPhone/iPad

Hatch app for iPhone/iPad

Check this out!
Hatch – iPhone/iPod Touch app ($1.99)

Why is it cool?
Hatch is basically an app where you get your own virtual pet (or ‘fugu’ as the app calls it) and you take care of it. You feed your pet fruit that grows on trees in the background.

When you take really good care of your pet, it does a happy dance and the fruit will grow faster. Eventually special starfruit grows on the trees as well. You can trade in fruits for acorns and starfruit for star coins.

Hatch is cool for so many reasons. For example, once you play the game for a while you get attached to your fugu and gain more of it’s trust.

Another example would be the shop. The shop is a place where you buy things with acorns or star coins.

My next example is the sticker book. The sticker book is a place where you store all the stickers you find hidden around the game. You can also find acorns and star coins hidden around the game.

My last example of why Hatch is cool is how your fugu sometimes gives you presents. Those presents can include stickers, acorns or star coins!

You treat your phone like a pet, so why can’t it be one?

Is it educational?
It is educational because it teaches you to be responsible. If you don’t take care of your fugu it might run away!


Salmah checks out the Winter Olympics – Sochi 2014

Feb 10, 2014   //   by Salmah   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Salmah checks out the Winter Olympics – Sochi 2014
Winter Olympics – Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics – Sochi 2014

Check this out!
Winter Olympics – Sochi 2014

Why it’s cool
The XXII Winter Olympics is the coolest thing on earth right now! The games are taking place in Sochi, Russia. The Olympics started on Friday, February 7th and end on Sunday, February 23rd, 2014. There will be approximately 2,800 athletes from 88 countries around the world who will participate in 15 different winter sports. I can’t think of anything cooler to watch on TV right now.

Is it entertaining, educational or a little of both?
Watching the Olympics is very entertaining and fun! I was born in Canada and it’s fun to cheer for Team Canada. I feel very happy when they get a medal, especially Gold. When I see all the different sports on TV, it makes me want to get out there and try them. I also learned a lot from watching the Olympics, like how the athletes train and qualify before they even get to the games. My favourite sports in the Winter Olympics are bob sledding and ski jumping. One day, I want to become an Olympian! GO CANADA GO!!!


Abdul checks out Project Ara: the Future of Smartphones

Jan 14, 2014   //   by Abdul   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Abdul checks out Project Ara: the Future of Smartphones
Early designs for Project Ara - source:

Early designs for Project Ara – source:

Check this out

Motorola’s Project Ara

Why it’s cool

Cellphones have become a part of our daily lives; they are everywhere, and now, smartphones are the new trend. Smartphones are miniature computers, they can do so much, things that were unimaginable two decades ago. From making calls, to reading a book, you can do it all on smartphones! The price of smartphones have also been on the decline, they are very popular!

Buying a smartphone can be a daunting decision for many consumers. From the popular phones, like iPhones and Androids to the less popular like BlackBerry and Window’s Phone, the possibilities are exciting. When looking at the phone you’re buying, the features are a very important factor to consider. Features that many people look for are: long battery life, screen size, physical vs. onscreen keyboard, camera, memory, etc. Many people have a tough time making their decisions as one phone may not have all the features they are looking for. But, what if there was a phone in which you could choose your own features? What if YOU could be the phone’s designer? Motorola has done exactly that! Introducing Project Ara!!

Motorola’s Project Ara is a modular phone. The unique selling proposition of this phone is that it has a endoskeleton, which is the main-brain of the phone. You can add multiple modules to the endoskeleton. For the screen, you can add a big touchscreen, or you can have a smaller screen with a physical keyboard. Modules such as the battery, camera, storage etc., can also be customized. For example, if you’re going out to take pictures for a few minutes, you can put in a smaller battery module and a bigger and better camera.

If you need a lot of music, and are not too concerned about the camera, you can put in a smaller camera module and a bigger storage module, so you can have a LOT of music! These are just a few of the modules that will be released! There are more modules expected to be released!

Is it entertaining, educational or both?

The Project Ara is both educational and entertaining. It can be used for many entertainment purposes such as pictures, music and movies. It can also be used for educational purposes such as research.

How can you get it?

Although the phone is still a concept, it is expected to be released in the next year or two. The phone is expected to run Google’s Android operating system (Google owns Motorola, so it would only make sense if the phone ran Android). The price has not been specified, but is expected to be quite high as it is such a versatile phone! Motorola’s Project Ara is the phone of the future, and it’ll be interesting to see how Project Ara turns out.


Jahmari checks out One Direction’s new video Story of My Life

Jan 6, 2014   //   by Jahmari   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Jahmari checks out One Direction’s new video Story of My Life

Check this out
Music Video: Story of My Life
Band: One Direction
Director: Ben Winston

What’s cool!
Story of My Life is One Direction’s new video. It is a cool video because they take photos from when they were younger and recreate them.

I was really excited to see the new video from One Direction because I liked the song the first time I heard it. Something that is really cool about the video for Story of My Life is the crew filled a warehouse with over seven thousand pictures from all the member’s childhoods.

One Direction has five members; their names are: Harry, Nial, Liam, Louis and Zayn.

After I watched the video, I found a really cool behind the scenes video that showed you a lot of the stuff they did to make the video.

In the video the director used green screens to make the pictures of One Direction come to life.

I thought it was funny that Louis’ sweater from his childhood photo still fits, so he wore it for the video!

Louis’ photo was my favourite part of the video because you get to see his parents and grandparents. It is also sad because when the photo fades to today, his grandparents are gone. It reminded me of my grandma.

The director also talked about a cool technique he used to get all guys and the photos in the shot. Almost every time the video is spinning in circles to get all the group members in the shot.

Is it entertaining, educational or a little bit of both?
Story of my life is a little bit of both. It is entertaining because music is like a mini show and it’s fun to watch music videos.

It is educational because the video shows us photos from One Direction’s band member’s lives and we get to see them when they were younger.

One Direction’s album came out on November 28, 2013.

The band has a 21 city tour called Where We Are tour and it comes to the Rogers Centre on August 1, 2014.

If you have a sister like mine who LOVES One Direction you should get the album: it would make a good belated Christmas present for her.


Salmah checks out FriendStrip Kids Pro By PhotoInPress

Dec 17, 2013   //   by Salmah   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Salmah checks out FriendStrip Kids Pro By PhotoInPress
FriendStrip Kids Pro By PhotoInPress

FriendStrip Kids Pro By PhotoInPress

Check this out!
FriendStrip Kids Pro By PhotoInPress

Why it’s cool
FriendStrip is an app that creates comic strips. It has a lot of built in storylines and all you need to do is take a picture of yourself (or your friend) that looks like the comic.

FriendStrip is cool because you can include your friends and family in the comic and then email it to them (after asking your parent’s permission first!) With over 10 built-in scenes, FriendStrip is fun for everyone.

Is it entertaining, educational or a little of both?
FriendStrip is both entertaining and educational because you get to use your imagination and make funny stories. Friendstrip is a creative way to learn how to build a storyline, with a beginning, middle, and an end.

You can find FriendStrip on the iPhone and Android. You should download and try it today because it’s FREE!!!


The Kids' Panel

Meet our kids' panel: a savvy group of kids with a strong point of view about the media and the culture they consume. Culturally diverse, a range of age and interests, they'll provide you with an insight into kids' media ... what works, what doesn't and why. Check back often for new reviews. We think you'll be inspired! @storyartscentre