Google has developed an educational program with the aim of helping children make better use of the internet. It’s a drive to “help kids learn how to be smart, positive and kind online, just like we teach them to be offline” and it’s called Be Internet Awesome.
Pavni Diwanji, vice president of Engineering For Kids and Families at Google says: “We need to provide guidance as they learn to make their own smart decisions online.” The program has been developed with a number of key online safety experts and includes an educational game called Interland.
In Interland, children are encouraged to work through four worlds, fighting hackers, phishers, oversharers and bullies, and learning good online habits as they go. Google is keen for schools and educators to get involved, and has devised a curriculum that can be used by anyone to spread the Be Internet Awesome lessons.
Be Internet Awesome has five main goals:
Be Internet Smart: Share with care
Be Internet Alert: Don’t fall for fake
Be Internet Strong: Secure your secrets
Be Internet Kind: It’s cool to be kind
Be Internet Brave: When in doubt, talk it out
As well as schools, Google wants to get parents on board and says:
Without some guidance, having a meaningful conversation about digital safety and respect at home can be really hard. These are sensitive topics and parents may not know where to start. To help make starting the conversation easier, we teamed up with a group of YouTube creators, including John Green, the What’s Inside? Family and MinutePhysics, to launch the #BeInternetAwesome Challenge, a video series that makes talking about online safety fun and accessible. Families can reinforce important lessons at home by signing the Be Internet Awesome Pledge to stay smart, alert, strong, kind and brave online.
Find out more at the Be Internet Awesome website.