Blog 28: Introducing Email in Early Years and Key Stage 1

Today I was mapping out some ideas for the new curriculum when I stumbled across a fantastic FREE (or seemingly free) email service called Maily (www.maily.com or download the mobile app version).

The Maily website describes the service as "Your child's first email".

It also provides this informative Vimeo video:

Below is a quick guide using the iPad version.
Basically, you create one adult/ parental account. This account is used to monitor all activity by child users.The app works either in child mode or adult mode.
You then create child's accounts using the options on screen.
Once accounts are in place, the pupils will see avatars or photos for each of their accounts.  To access their account they simply tap on their avatar.
When composing an email the pupils have the following easy to use tools:

Pupils can combine these tools to create their emails.
Pupils' emails will then send.

The recipient's email account will look like this once the email is recieved:

They simply tap on their email avatar to open the email.

The advatages of using a system like this include:

- It's FREE
- All activity is closely monitored by the adult account
- It's incredibly intuitive and easy to use
- It works on desktop, iPad, iPod and iPhone
- It provides the ideal starting point to build on email and digital communication
- You can introduce esafety issues. For example, set up accounts as fairy tale characters. Goldilocks recieves an email from a user called Grandma, whose avatar looks suspiciously like a wolf in diguise. What should she do?
- It's FREE.

I'm looking to trial this app with some Year 1 pupils this term to gauge the level of user, hoping it will be in place in the curriculum next year. I hope to blog about the success of this later in the year.

Have you used Maily? Do you have a similar product that you use? What do you think? Let me know.

Thanks :-)

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