Google is Teaching Kids How to Spot Fake News
Nowadays, children are practically born Internet literate.
But just because they're only logging in to watch YouTube and play games doesn't mean they aren't immune to the hazards of the Wide World Web.
Google has officially committed itself to helping children become more aware of the dangerous situations they could find themselves in on the Internet.
Back in 2017, Google launched its "Be Internet Awesome" children’s curriculum which teaches kids how to stay safe online and be a good digital citizen.
Last week they added a new module. "Don’t Fall for Fake" helps children understand how to identify real and fake profiles/accounts; what phishing is and how to prevent themselves falling victim to it; what bots are and how they can be used; and how to spot disinformation or "fake news" as most of us know it.
"Don’t Fall for Fake" also includes lessons on how to identify genuine URLs, handle strangers who approach you online, evaluate the credibility of sources and to develop the habit of analyzing all news and information.
The course offers information on all these topics along with key vocabulary, activities and conversation prompts in order to engage children and develop the skills they need to think critically when using the Internet.
The other sections cover issues such as data privacy, bullying and how and when to report behaviour online.
Everything learnt can be consolidated online with Google’s online resource called Interland, a virtual reality where kids can explore the land and play games about Internet safety.
Kids can explore Kind Kingdom, where they learn about how to post sensitively, Reality River, where they learn to identify what is true information, and the Tower of Treasure, where they learn to secure their private information.
Even though the course is aimed at children between the ages of seven to twelve, the courses could certain benefit anyone who is looking to become Internet-savvy.
What do you think of Google’s digital media literacy course? Let us know in the comments below?
Written by Anushé Samee. Photo credit: Google.