Some People Think the Internet is Broken. Can Google Help Kids Fix It?

The net may be damaged.

On one hand, we’ve instantly admitted to a wealth of records, pals, and leisure. But then again, we are swimming in a sea of doubtful content material, shady characters, and systems that continuously gamble whack-a-mole toward offensive postings.

This is specifically problematic for the youngest users–internet-enabled youngsters being raised by using dial-up parents. In an attempt to help children be empowered and informed customers online, educators and businesses across. S . (and globe) sold online protection, digital citizenship, and media literacy applications.


Now Google is stepping up with its “Be Internet Awesome” campaign, which incorporates various resources and a corresponding video game.

“I could not consider what the sector would be like without the Internet today,” says one of the children featured in Google’s Be Internet Awesome marketing campaign video. His sentiment seems to be the overarching subject matter that we’re entering a new ordinary wherein the internet is shifting from a novelty to a given. But have we adjusted as a consequence?

The trouble with applications promoting online safety and digital citizenship is that they can occasionally fall into the “devour your broccoli” or stranger/danger camp, which may also restrict their effectiveness and buy-in. Google and others need to maintain a pleasant balance between promoting the blessings of an interconnected international network and making customers aware of the dangers. The “Be Internet Awesome” bridges this duality by focusing on a holistic virtual citizen–a balance between defensive skills and being properly informed and engaged.

The unfastened Be Internet Awesome sources are designed to teach kids about issues together with protective passwords, now not falling for fake news or scams and being typed online. Youngsters undergo a selection of position-playing sports and quizzes for the curriculum and the corresponding recreation. The resources have been designed with the assistance of educators and leading online safety groups, including ConnectSafely, iKeepSafe, and the Family Online Safety Institute.

Be Internet Awesome specializes in five key lessons to help children with a bit of luck navigate the web International:

Be Internet Smart: Share with care
Be Internet Alert: Don’t fall for faux
Be Internet Strong: Secure your secrets
Be Internet Kind: It’s cool to be the type
Be Internet Brave: When doubtful, communicate it out

“I love to Be Internet Awesome as it covers all of the bases – all three literacies of the digital age,” says journalist and teen Anne Collier, who has been heavily worried about the evolution of online protection since the past due to the ’90s. Collier points out that the first two lessons (“Smart” and “Alert”) fall below media literacy, while “Strong” is digital literacy, and “Kind” and “Brave” are social literacies.

“Kids want this training,” says Diana Graber, who shares Collier’s enthusiasm. Graber is the founder of Cyber Civics and a leading advocate for greater virtual citizenship and media literacy in college. She became particularly happy-to-look, age-suitable clothes geared to a younger target market.

Do We Need Universal Internet Safety Education?

While many human beings view the contemporary push closer to online civility and media literacy as new issues [in reaction to trolls, fake news, etc], there have, in truth, been several campaigns, undertaking forces, and academic studies aimed at making sure youngsters are secure, savvy, and ethical on-line.

Collier was co-chair of the Obama management’s Online Safety & Technology Working Group in 2009. In June 2010, the organization brought its report to Congress, “Youth Safety on a Living Internet.” “This is what our 2010 country-wide venture pressure’s file to Congress is known for as customary, fundamental Internet protection ed,” says Collier. The three literacy levels are derived from the Aspen Institute Task Force on Learning and the Internet (2014), which Collier also served on.

“All learners need to have the literacies important to utilize media, in addition, to safeguard themselves inside the virtual age.” -Aspen Institute Task Force on Learning and the Internet.

As we’ve discovered, with the upward push of trolls and pretend news, the internet would not magically restore itself. It is based on its users being knowledgeable, empowered, and engaged. It depends on us being a touch extranet superb. David Ryan Polgar is an author, speaker, and head of Trust & Safety for the teen social gaming platform Friendbase. He explores the effect of social media & tech from an ethical, prison, and emotional angle. Connect @TechEthicist or on Facebook.

Internet practitioner. Twitter expert. Analyst. Communicator. Thinker. Coffee advocate.
Spent a year testing the market for sock monkeys in Naples, FL. My current pet project is donating robotic shrimp in Hanford, CA. Spent several months getting my feet wet with weed whackers worldwide. Spent 2001-2006 training shaving cream in Hanford, CA. Crossed the country lecturing about bathtub gin in West Palm Beach, FL. Spent 2001-2007 implementing licorice with no outside help.