You fought with your buddy, wrestled with your combination lock, yanked the door open, and dragged out your books -- wincing at the smell of the gym clothes you left there yesterday -- then ran off to class.
A group of college students thinks the locker -- a safe, private space a child uses every day -- is a strong enough idea that 10 to 14-year-old kids would use a virtual locker online to get news, communicate with each other, and stay involved in their communities.
The group has invented a Web site called Locker Talker. The site is meant to be a secure, collaborative, news-based site for kids. It uses familiar-looking graphics like notebooks for group discussions, post-it notes for messages, and a flip book for a virtual scrapbook.
That familiarity extends to providing movable magnet graphics inside the virtual locker door. These magnets allow paid advertisers to put their logo and other commercial information in front of kids each time they log in.
The site also gives community groups like the Girl Scouts a way to get information to kids, and to encourage awareness of larger issues like global warming or breast cancer, the group's presenter said.
The student project was funded by the Knight Foundation News Challenge grant program, and is one of three presented at ONA 2007 in a business session about partnerships between industry and post-secondary institutions.
-- Will Tremain