On Tuesday, Google introduced Be Internet Awesome, an online campaign to teach kids how to explore the internet safely. The initiative is also aimed at parents at home and educators in classrooms to foster best practices and behavior when surfing the web.
The program was developed in partnership with the Internet Keep Safe Coalition, ConnectSafely, and the Family Online Safety Institute. Materials include classroom curricula, training courses, activities, and a game called Interland which focuses on the core teachings of BIA.
Interland is the central piece of the campaign, and players can opt for a Google-issued certificate upon completion. With the help of YouTube personalities like John Green.
Interland helps kids identify phishing scams and stop trolling
As part of the Be Internet Awesome program, Interland serves as an interactive and engaging evaluation method for young learners to test their knowledge about what to do and how to behave on the internet.
The game consists of four worlds or levels, in which players have to complete different mini games related to the theme of each world. Together, these dimensions check all the boxes of the program: be alert, be strong, be kind, and be brave.
Reality River, the first world of the web-based game, requires players to answer questions about online safety to cross it. The Kind Kingdom is all about promoting positive interactions and blocking cyberbullying threats.
Mindful Mountain is focused on creating social awareness about who you should be sharing information with, and Tower of Treasures seeks to improve password security by highlighting the importance of special characters.
— Google (@Google) June 6, 2017
Digital citizenship teachings transcend virtual spaces
Also, Google released complimentary resources like curricula and lesson plans for teachers and families to use with their children.
The Be Internet Awesome curriculum has worksheets and activities that pair nicely with the four objectives of the campaign and the dedicated levels of Interland.
These classroom resources are free to download and implement in courses, and they count with the International Society for Technology in Education’s Sign of Alignment. Upon completion of Interland levels and the whole game, players can opt to get badges and a certificate to show their awesomeness.
The initiate encourages families to take BIA’s pledge and have honest conversations with their children about the dangers that are in the digital world. The ultimate objective is to make the online world a safer place.