Four years ago Google lunched ‘Be Internet Awesome’, an online training program designed to assist teachers and parents teach young children about safe internet behaviours. Today they have announced an expansion to the program introducing 11 new lessons and refinements to the original content.
Google commissioned the University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center to evaluate the program. From this evaluation, it seems that participants do indeed show an improvement in their comprehension around online behaviours.
The enhanced program now offers more content targeted at specific ages, improved teacher and parent tools and has expanded the content to cover the increasingly important topics of online video and gaming. Is this going to be the single panacea for all of our internet behaviour issues? of course not, but it’s a lot better than having no tools at all.
Like any program like this, this should be a starting point. Parents and teachers can use these tools to start a child’s awareness and as a starting point for discussion of these topics.
All of our kids are years older now and I know for my self that I’ll be sitting down with my 8 year old this weekend and doing the program with her.
You can access Be Internet Awesome here.