A new educational program is being launched by Google. The general idea of this program is to teach kids how to recognize and protect themselves from online threats like phishing, or internet harassment. They would also learn about safety measures that should be taken by all of the internet users.
The program is named ‘Be Internet Awesome‘, and it would include a video game called ‘Interland’, as well as a classroom curriculum. The game was developed with a great amount of help from teachers, several Internet organizations, including those dedicated to safety, as well as those dedicated to literacy. They also had help from videographers from YouTube, and the resources used were available for free online.
The program will mention topics and problems that can be relevant at any age. Still, it would seem that the primary targets are younger children. The topics that will be covered include limiting the share of personal data with people met during the online sessions, as well as the creation of strong passwords, and avoiding different types of scams, phishing attacks, and any sort of negative behavior. Google also says that this program is compatible with International Society for Technology in Education standards.
The program will also promote a wide range of tech-savvy skills, which will include role-playing activities, several kinds of quizzes, and other, similar exercises.
The program contains several modules. For example, one of them that’s called ‘Share with care’ requests that students look at several profiles on social media. Their task is then to cross out info that parents, potential employers, or even their future selves might find inappropriate.
Then there’s ‘Don’t fall for fake’, where they have to deduce whether emails and web pages showed to them are real or not. There’s also the one called ‘It’s cool to be kind’, and there, children will learn how to avoid online bullying.
Also, there’s the video game named Interland. Its role is to get students more interested in the program, as well as materials that it offers. One of the games, that’s called ‘Mindful Mountain’, makes a puzzle out of the process of sharing certain posts with the right people. There are games that generally promote positivity, and the point to one of those is to trap trolls by hitting the ‘block’ button and to toss out friendly emoticons. There’s also a game that promotes the password security, where the runner collects symbols and letters in order to make the strongest password.
This isn’t the first attempt by Google to create an educational program, but only the latest in a row. Previous ones included promoting Chromebooks, and things like virtual reality field trips by using the Google Cardboard.
Programs like these can be useful, especially since everyone needs some kind of education when it comes to online threats like phishing attacks. Still, it’s believed that some aspects of the program might vary when it comes to the effectiveness. Despite the fact that children might perform admirably when it comes to the program and the games, there’s still the question of how well are these skills going to work in the real situations.