To make the most of the Internet, kids need to be prepared to make smart decisions. Google today announced the expansion of its free Be Internet Awesome program, now available en Español across the United States and Latin America, as Sé genial en Internet.
Research finds that among Latino households, Spanish-dominant families are nearly twice as likely as English-dominant families to recommend having conversations about online safety in the home (39 percent vs. 21 percent). Instead of leaving these safety discussions up to schools or other programs, Latino families want the resources to learn about Internet safety and the tools to help talk about these topics at home, according to a newly commissioned report by Google, which provides a look at Latino families and their online behavior and needs.
To help Latino families address the growing need for online safety information and help close the internet safety education gap, Google’s “Sé genial en Internet” program provides Spanish-language resources needed to talk to kids about digital safety and citizenship—both at home and in the classroom. The first-of-its kind program is free and includes Interland, a video game for kids, at-home resources for parents, and a curriculum for educators.
“Discussions around Internet safety should include the whole family,” says Jessica Covarrubias, Google’s Be Internet Awesome Lead. “By providing resources in Spanish, we encourage Latino parents and kids to talk about online safety together at home. We want all kids to have a high quality experience–plus, the program is so easy and fun to follow that even parents can join in on the learning.”
Families are facing challenges with online safety as kids continuously become tech savvier at younger ages. But with higher internet usage, Latino families are in a heightened state of need. The study found that while Latino parents in the US are actively talking to their kids about internet safety, only half feels in control or trusts that their kids will inform an adult if they find inappropriate content. Furthermore, 90 percent of Latino kids haven’t been taught how to address cyberbullying and one in four Latino parents feels they do not have resources to turn to if child is being cyberbullied.
In addition to the launch of Sé genial en Internet, Be Internet Awesome has made a number of updates, including:
- Curriculum expansions with new activities and an educators guide
- Updates to the Interland game, including new levels and quizzes
- Interactive slide presentations, created in partnership with Pear Deck, for each of the program’s lessons to use in the classroom.
Be Internet Awesome is a free multifaceted program designed to teach kids how to be safe and confident explorers of the online world. Being Internet Awesome means 5 things:
- Be Internet Smart: Share with care
- (Being mindful of one’s online reputation)
- Be Internet Alert: Don’t fall for fake
- (Avoiding phishing and scams)
- Be Internet Strong: Secure your secrets
- (Privacy and Security)
- Be Internet Kind: It’s cool to be kind
- (Dealing with and avoiding online harassment)
- Be Internet Brave: When in doubt, talk it out
- (Reporting inappropriate content)
Interland is a free, web-based game designed to help kids learn five foundational lessons across four different mini-games, or ‘lands.’ Kids are invited to play their way to Internet Awesome in a quest to deny hackers, sink phishers, one-up cyberbullies, outsmart oversharers and become safe, confident explorers of the online world. We built Interland with help from experts in the digital safety space, and it is the recipient of the International Society for Technology in Education’s Seal of Alignment. The four lands and their key learning objectives are:
Don’t Fall for Fake. The river that runs through Interland flows with fact and fiction. But things are not always as they seem. To cross the rapids, use your best judgement and don’t fall for the antics of the phisher lurking in these waters. Learning objectives include:
- Understand not everything is true online.
- Recognize the signs of a scam.
- Understand phishing and how to report it.
Share with Care. The mountainous town center of Interland is a place where everyone mingles and crosses paths. But you must be very intentional about what you share and with whom…information travels at the speed of light and there’s an oversharer among the Internauts you know. Learning objectives include:
- Be mindful of what is shared and with whom.
- Understand consequences of sharing.
- Understand some info is extra sensitive.
It’s cool to be kind. Vibes of all kinds are contagious—for better or for worse. In the sunniest corner of town, cyberbullies are running amok, spreading negativity everywhere. Block and report bullies to stop their takeover and be kind to other Internauts to restore the peaceful nature of this land. Learning objectives include:
- The web amplifies kindness and negativity.
- Not tolerating bullying and speaking up.
- Block and report mean spirited behavior.
Tower of Treasure
Secure your secrets. Mayday! The Tower is unlocked, leaving the Internaut’s valuables like personal info and passwords at high risk. Outrun the hacker and build an untouchable password every step of the way…to secure your secrets once and for all. Learning objectives include:
- Take responsibility to protect your things.
- How to make a strong password.
- A good password should be memorable.
Sé genial en Internet URL: g.co/segenialeninternet
Sé genial en Internet Interland URL: g.co/sejaincrivelnainternet
Be Internet Awesome URL: g.co/BeInternetAwesome
Interland URL: g.co/Interland