Yes, my son and daughter have been taken by Webkinz. My daughter had received one of these about a year ago and only recently, at my suggestion, activated it. The kids were sitting around the house looking for something to do. I had papers to write and was not much fun. Wanting to know more about this webkinz thing, I suggested that she give it a try. Hours later, both of the kids were still at work with the webkinz. Talk about a learning environment. Lave and Wenger talk about how all learning is situated. Well, this webkinz had situated my kids in a learning environment that would not let them go. My son, who is two years older, needed one of his own so now they both play with them online. They build rooms, buy stuff for their virtual pets, budget their money or at least, when they are running out of funds for purchasing things for their pets, play games for money or work virtually at baby sitting or other odd tasks online. It is almost an obsession.
“How many rooms so you have for your pet? How much money do you have? Have you played this game or that game?”
The most interesting thing is that I have not had to help them at all. The entire process of setting the account up to what you do when you are their was self directed. I was amazed. Oh, did I forget to mention, my daughter is 10 and my son almost 12. Now if only school was so engaging…