Digital Citizenship: Be Internet Awesome

When I was a student, the internet did not exist. The most embarrassing thing that could happen was the teacher taking up a note you passed and reading it to the class. We did not carry around pocket-sized computers that could take pictures/video and post them to a worldwide audience in a few seconds that exist online somewhere forever.

Kids today have opportunities we never imagined when I was in school, but with those opportunities come increased responsibility.  It is our job as educators to train students to be successful adults in a digitally connected world. They do not become responsible digital citizens without some help. In fact, the internet has created a group of people who use the anonymity of the web to do some really nasty things to other people. We must be diligent in preparing our kids for their future.

Google has just launched a curriculum (and computer game!) to do just that. Be Internet Awesome is designed for 2-5 grade, but can be modified for older students. The curriculum in available for free as as a download from the site (curriculum link). Each lesson is designed to include a discussion with students and activities to extend the learning. In essence, Be Internet Awesome teaches students to be smart, alert, strong, kind, and brave online.

Once students have completed the lessons, they can play Interland, a video game designed to support the curriculum. Interland has four islands with different theme reinforced on each island.

The site also has plenty of teacher resources to help teachers integrate this curriculum into their classroom.


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