Keeping kids safe online is a constantly evolving battle, and as modern parents it’s up to us to make sure our kids grow up not only being safe online but also learning the acceptable behaviours that we all wish to see online. Google agrees and has today launched their “Be Internet Awesome” program to provide parents, educators and kids with access to some play based learning to teach kids exactly that.
Google has partnered with several organisations that focus on keeping kids safe online including Family Online Safety Institute, the Internet Keep Safe Coalition and ConnectSafely.org. The program focus on 5 main points for creating a safer and more awesome internet:
- 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
You can check out all of the specifics of the program as well as download and print out resources like the family pledge or the Internet Awesome curriculum from the new site beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com. However, the bit the kids will love is Interland, the online playground where kids play their way through various challenges designed to teach them the basic principles.
Out of pure research, of course, I had to play a few levels, and it was fun, sure I would have preferred more discussion on cyphers, and not using standard substitution, but hey perhaps that’s coming in V 2.0! Honestly, however, the levels I played were simple and delivered a clear easy to understand message. So much so I want my wife to complete the package!
Will this be the one shot panacea to solve internet safety for kids? Of course not. But what it is a real attempt to try and engage with parents, educators and kids around the topic, and I think that’s a great idea. My daughter is a bit young to do this solo but I think we’ll be doing it together this weekend.