With the proliferation of device usage in schools, having a comprehensive Digital Citizenship Curriculum that engages students is crucial. While most schools and parents do their best to filter content and have usage policies in place, the students are the ones that need to be Internet savvy, and be able to make good choices online.
There are many good resources available, but there was a need for a complete package that was student-centric and gamified. This summer, Google introduced “Be Internet Awesome”, a comprehensive Digital Citizenship and online safety curriculum that is outstanding. In addition to the excellent ISTE aligned lesson plans, Google created a fabulous online adventure game “Interland”.
“Interland” takes students through a gamified adventure made of four worlds, where they learn to make good decisions about password safety, sharing information, avoiding scams, and being kind. I used this curriculum the first week of school with my 4th and 5th Graders, and they loved it. They were able to be successful with the challenges, and really enjoyed the interface. Most of them continued the “Interland” adventure outside of school at home! They understood the lessons, and felt that it was cool to be “Internet Awesome”. Students receive certificates for completing the challenges.
All the school firewalls and filters in the world cannot prevent a student with a cellular enabled tablet from going somewhere inappropriate. Teaching students the necessary skills to be smart online is the best approach. Having a powerhouse like Google produce a Digital Citizenship Curriculum creates credibility and awareness, and gets the buy in from the students. As a technology teacher I am very glad they created this. This is a tremendous tool for teachers and parents that will be engaged and enjoyed by your students. Thank you Google!
Additional Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety Resources: