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In order to provide guidance to school children to help them make their own smart decisions online, Google has now introduced a new educational campaign. The aim of this initiative is to help kids learn how to be smart, positive and kind online, just like how they are taught offline.
Google's new program is being called as "Be Internet Awesome" and the company hopes that it will serve as a new way to encourage digital safety and citizenship. The search giant has further developed the program in collaboration with online safety experts like the Family Online Safety Institute, the Internet Keep Safe Coalition and Connect Safely.
As per the Google's blog post Be Internet Awesome focuses on five key lessons to help kids navigate the online world with confidence:
- 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
Additionally, the program will include a range of specific resources for kids, educators and parents as well to learn and participate in the program.
To help kids learn the lessons in a way that's fun and immersive, Google has created an interactive, online game called Interland. The game basically includes an imaginary world of four lands and the gameplay involves kids combating hackers, phishers, oversharers, and bullies.
However, it will allow kids to practice the skills they need to be good digital citizens. The game is free and web-based and is easily accessible by everyone. Interland also uses a low-poly aesthetic format that will be familiar to Daydream virtual reality (VR) users.
Google is also including educators across the country in the program. The aim is to create a classroom curriculum that brings the five principles of being Internet Awesome to life, at school. Teachers will be able to use elements of the program in their classrooms and at the same time, the program will help them to define skills for safe and positive action online.
"Building these skills in our students will require ongoing attention as new technologies pose challenges and opportunities for students both at home and at school," says Carolyn Sykora, Senior Director of Standards at ISTE. "Be Internet Awesome provides materials educators and parents can use to help students learn about online safety in a fun and engaging way."
Apart from the kids and the teachers, the program has some resources for the parents as well. Google is collaborating 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.
So with such program, Google is encouraging parents or guardians to reinforce important lessons at home by signing the Be Internet Awesome Pledge to stay smart, alert, strong, kind and brave online.
Pavni Diwanji, Vice President of the Engineering for kids and families Google, has said, "Google will work to make the Internet a safer, more positive place for kids, and this is an exciting new chapter in our ongoing efforts."