While there are fewer kids playing out in the neighborhood due to “safety concerns”, there are one too many left unsupervised playing in the wild— the internet. This new generation of children are digital natives, born in an era where the internet makes everything and anything accessible. It is not uncommon to see parents even travel with a tablet, ready to play a movie for their crying child or simply letting the child browse through the internet, with the hopes that they remain entertained. Still, with all that is available at the palm of our hands, it is more critical than ever for parents to make digital citizenship a topic of conversation in their homes with their children. In the same way that parents discussed “stranger danger” and basic safety to dos with their children before they went out to play, it is important that we have intentional conversations with our children about internet safety.
According to research around how to best parent children in the digital age, it is important for parents to be good digital role models themselves. In recent findings, Google shared that Latinos over index on social media usage, but lack the resources to have conversations about online safely at home vs. in the classroom. This means that while Latinos are using internet platforms at a higher average than other groups, we are lacking resources to help our children better navigate the digital world.
This is why Google’s digital safety program, “Be Internet Awesome” is so important. To make the most of the Internet, the Be Internet Awesome program teaches kids how to be prepared to make smart decisions by helping them learn the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence. This entire program is designed to teach kids The Internet Code of Awesome through 5 main principles: Be Internet Smart, Be Internet Alert, Be Internet Strong, Be Internet Kind, and Be Internet Brave.
The program comes with free resources, free curriculum for schools to provide digital citizenship support for students and families, as well as games that are both engaging and educational.
So why are we just now highlighting this resource? Because Google recently launched the Spanish version, “Sé genial en Internet” with the hopes of increasing digital safety awareness in Latino households. By simply using more social media platforms than any other groups, Latinos are on average are already over exposing a lot of personal information online. Thus, by breaking the language barrier and making it accessible to Spanish speaking families, Google is hoping to decrease the amount of scams and phishing our communities are susceptible too when unadvised.
The entire “Sé genial en Internet” program is now available across Latin America and ready to be used in classrooms, households, and any place possible that is willing to provide a space for digital parenting. Feel free to use this free resource and share wide as more than ever, we must teach our children and families how to differentiate between #FakeNews and what’s safe and real.
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