Between fake news and severe media bias, media literacy has become a great concern in society these days. Many people are trying to consume a healthy media diet to avoid the likelihood of believing false news or letting your personal opinions get in the way of solid facts. Parents are just as concerned about this issue because they want their children to grow up with a healthy yet developing media diet. Luckily for them, there may be a fun and easy way to address this concern.
According to TechCrunch this past Monday, multi-billion tech giant Google has recently expanded its "Be Internet Awesome" program. The program in question initially contains crucial information and tips about citizen curriculum and digital safety. Its new expansion will now include the important topic of media literacy. The expansion was created in collaboration with the National Association for Media Literacy Education, The Net Safety Collaborative, and The Teacher's Guide to Media Literacy. It will help children learn and understand this topic in an easy to consume, kid-friendly manner.
The "Be Internet Awesome" program will contain six brand new media literacy activities. Children who partake in it will learn a lot that concerns plenty of important topics. This includes avoiding phishing attacks, catching fake URLs, how to evaluate sources, how to verify credible information, identifying misinformation on the Internet, and what a bot is. For example, when it comes to phishing, children learn what phishing is, why it poses a threat and ways to avoid it. When learning what bots are, children learn about A.I. and compare the similarities and differences between chatting with a bot and chatting with a bot. That's only the tip of the figurative iceberg!
The main theme of the "Be Internet Awesome" is so that children will be able to understand that not all content that they find online is necessarily true. They'll also learn the efforts some will go to in order to steal their identity. All of the aforementioned topics are appropriately covered through activities, discussions, and instructions that are entertaining while promoting critical thinking in children. The reward for completing the course is with playing an online game, Reality River.
This curriculum is now available for families and teachers and is offered in about ten different languages, including English. It's sure to be a successful way to teach children media literacy and how to both consume and develop a healthy media diet.