October is National Bullying Prevention Month which is why I’ve partnered with Google and Forward Influence Network for this sponsored post about the Be Internet Awesome program. I believe by teaching our children kindness, and by modeling kindness ourselves, we can change the world. Being kind and respectful as well as acquiring the skill to disempower bullying begins at home.
The Be Internet Awesome program helps to teach kids how to be safe online in many different areas. From scams and phishing to bullying and keeping secrets, this ISTE aligned curriculum (available in both English and Spanish) explores all areas of digital citizenship for kids. Ready-made Pear Decks are available for each lesson as well as additional resources for both teachers and parents including vocabulary words and talking points. The internet can be a tough place to navigate no matter what age you are but for kids it’s so important to teach them kindness and awareness both in real life and online.
Staying behind a screen can be like a real world digital game of telephone. As information is passed through more and more hands it continually becomes distorted and can be difficult to weed out the original intent. Computers don’t show emotion yet they can hold so much power over us and our emotions can become confused and turned quickly. One wrong choice can lead to personal disaster. The Be Internet Awesome program teaches kids to be an Upstander and fight bad behavior by standing up for kindness and positivity. It also helps children to understand and look for scams so they do not become a victim.
The Fundamentals of The Internet Code of Awesome:
1. Be Internet Smart: Share with Care-
In our digital world news of all kinds spread like wildfire – which can be both really good and really bad. Sometimes situations are pretty tricky and you’re unsure of what to do. This fundamental helps teach kids how to communicate responsibly and appropriate with their online communication and personal details..
2. Be Internet Alert: Don’t Fall for Fake-
E-mails can tell you you’ve won $1,000,000 dollars. You can learn how to get “free” toys in an advertisement. Even the most intuitive minds can be tricked online. This fundamental will help children look for clues in fake e-mails and other phishing attempts and teach them what to do when they come across it.
3. Be Internet Strong: Secure Your Secrets-
It can be really hard to remember so many different passwords but security is incredibly important – both on social media and when shopping online. This fundamental teaches kids about creating strong passwords and safeguarding themselves against being hacked. It teaches kids what personal information they can give out to different types of people and how to ask for help when they need it.
4. Be Internet Kind: It’s Cool to Be Kind-
The Internet can bring intense awareness and popularity to much needed areas, but it can also destroy one’s reputation and intent. This fundamental helps children to understand that the Internet can be used to spread both positivity and negativity, and how to respect others’ differences.
5. Be Internet Brave: When in Doubt, Talk it Out-
This is one area of digital safety that we often leave out with children but is perhaps the most important. Instead of teaching kids to ignore scams or bullying online and not to participate, we need to teach them that they can bring these situations to trusted adults offline for help.
Interland: Reinforce Kindness & Understand Scams
Interland is an awesome four world game for kids that reinforce different areas of digital citizenship. They are:
- Kind Kingdom – It’s Cool to Be Kind
- Reality River – Don’t Fall for Fake
- Mindful Mountain – Share with Care
- Tower of Treasure – Secure Your Secrets
Each world focuses on a different area of digital safety. Some levels of Interland are completed by blocking bullies and sprinkling love. Other levels build pathways based on correct answers about phishing and scams. Some require strategy and understanding who you should tell different types of secrets to. As I was playing the games with my children I was actually really excited to learn that my kids were already using Interland in their school!
Each game comes with the option to download and print a PDF certificate upon completion! Also on the Be Internet Awesome site you can find Pledges to download and take right alongside your children.
Follow Google Education on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram here! Or search for the hashtags #BeInternetAwesome and #ItsCooltobeKind for more inspiration!