Talking to children in clear, age-appropriate language about the dangers of the internet can be tricky. Fortunately, Google has a free (and pretty fantastic) toolkit you can use to discuss the fundamentals with your kids.
In 2017, Google launched an internet literacy program called Be Internet Awesome. It’s aimed at elementary-to-middle-school-aged children but is also accessible to those a little younger or older than that. Recently, after a slew of feedback from parents and educators, Google updated the program, which makes this an even better time to take a look if you haven’t already.
Be Internet Awesome is built around “The Internet Code of Awesome.” This includes concepts like “Share with Care,” “Secure Your Secrets,” and “It’s Cool to Be Kind,” among others. These lessons walk kids through critical ideas, such as what they shouldn’t share online, how to keep private information private, and how they should conduct themselves on the internet.
The new update expands the scope of the program to include not only online safety but also internet literacy and exercises designed to help kids analyze and evaluate the information they find online.
The free support material includes all of the above topics, as well as additional information for parents. You’ll find material on how to talk to your kids about internet safety, how to set technology boundaries in your home, and more. There’s even a free game to help reinforce the ideas after you talk them through with your kids. You can check out the program and free resources here.