Jun 15, 2017
In celebration of Internet Safety Month, Google has released a classroom curriculum and computer game to teach children in grades 3–5 about online safety and security. The program, called Be Internet Awesome, is part of Google’s effort to instill youth with digital savvy and to encourage them to be good internet citizens. The online game, called Interland, invites players to roam around four floating island worlds that contain challenges, puzzles, and quizzes related to online safety. The game is free and accessible via all major web browsers, not just Google Chrome. As the adventure proceeds, players battle cyberbullies, hackers, and scammers, while picking up skills designed to help keep them safe in an increasingly connected world. One island world, “Tower of Treasure,” tasks players to outrun a bad character and collect alphabet letters that will form the basis of a strong password. Another world, “Mindful Mountain,” charges players to ricochet lasers off mirrors to hit certain targets, thereby teaching them to share certain information only with proper designees. “Reality River” tests players’ knowledge about phishing. And “Kind Kingdom” encourages players to stop and report cyberbullies who are spreading negativity everywhere, ultimately restoring the peaceful nature of the land by spreading good vibes. Google collaborated with several organizations to bring the program to fruition, including the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the Family Online Safety Institute, the Internet Keep Safe Coalition, and ConnectSafely.