From my poll that was conducted last week, I will put together a blurb about each of the apps for which you voted. In addition to a review of the app or site, I hope to find something positive to share about the featured app or site.
This week my focus is Yik Yak.
In a nutshell, Yik Yak is an app that allows anonymous posts to appear
on a message board. The message board uses GPS and allows messages
from approximately a 30 mile radius to appear on the user’s feed.
There is no log in for this app which makes the app completely
Yik Yak has been meant for colleges but it has been making it way into
high schools and middle schools. The app was developed as a way to
encourage the quiet students to be a bit more vocal, “Because that guy
in the back row of your science class might be the funniest guy you
never heard.” said Buffington, one of the creators of Yik Yak. It is
also mean to be a “Virtual Bulletin Board” and by using GPS this app
can update your feed with “Yaks” that are within a certain proximity
to your mobile device.
Recently, the Yik Yak app came under fire because of its use on high
school campuses. Students were using the app to cyber-bully other
students. Once the creators of Yik Yak heard about this, they became
very concerned. What Buffington and Droll (the creators of Yik Yak)
did next was very commendable. They contacted Apple to see if they
could get an expedited review of their app and updated it to a 17+ age
limit; Apple obliged. The reason why this is so important is because
parents can set restrictions on their child’s iPad/iPhone or iPod
Touch. These restriction allow parents to enable a function that will
prevent their kids from downloading apps that have 17+ ratings.
However, even with the 17+ rating, our students are not in the clear.
Parents need to take an active role in knowing what their child is
doing on and off line. Setting restrictions on the device is a great
step in the right direction however, having regular conversations
about what is going with your child and being an active participant
is the best solution.