Google is spearheading an educational campaign to teach pre-teen children how to protect themselves from scams, predators and other trouble.
The program announced Tuesday is called “Be Internet Awesome.” Google coordinated the curriculum with several online safety groups, including the Family Online Safety Institute, the Internet Keep Safe Coalition and Connect Safely.
The lessons are tailored for kids ranging from eight to 12 years old, a time when many of today’s children are getting their own smartphones and other devices that connect to the Internet. To make the experience more fun, Google and its partners developed a game called “Interland” to help teach children about the ins and outs of online safety. Interland, the accompanying video game, seems less like a training tool and more like a sweetener that could get students interested in the material. Interland also uses a low-poly aesthetic that will be familiar to Daydream virtual reality (VR) users.
Google is encouraging teachers to use elements of its program in their classrooms, too. It includes a range of specific resources for kids, educators and parents, so everyone has the tools they need to learn and participate in the conversation.
“For kids to really make the most of the web, we need to provide guidance as they learn to make their own smart decisions online,” Pavni Diwanji, Vice President of the Engineering for kids and families, said in a Google blog post on Tuesday.
“With school out and summer break giving kids more time to spend on the Internet, it’s a great time to introduce Be Internet Awesome: a new way to encourage digital safety and citizenship,” Diwanji added.