Google Interland Teaches Online Safety to Kids
The goal of Interland is to teach children proper online practices through interactive games. Google has outlined its service plans for the website and games with the slogan, “Be Internet Awesome.” Google states that “Be Internet Awesome teaches kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence.”
In Interland, players learn about online safety while they explore four different islands: Kind Kingdom, Reality River, Mindful Mountain and Tower of Treasure. The games focus on five goals: cyberbullying, phishers, hackers, and oversharer. In addition to the release of the site and games, Google released a curriculum. The curriculum was formed in collaboration between Google and the Internet Keep Safe Coalition. Be Internet Awesome was designed with educators in mind and gives them tools and methods for accomplishing the goals. Google says that the lessons are best for kids between grades 3 to 6, however, the program can be enjoyed by all. Be Internet Awesome benefits educators of younger and older students alike and all that participate in the games found the lessons to be valuable.
Accessing the game is easy. You’ll need a strong internet connection, computer or tablet and access to the Google Interland website. Once in the game, you play as an avatar, known in the game as Internauts. Once you have your Internaut, you battle your way through the four different levels and learn about internet safety in an entertaining and fun way.
Interland Has Four Different Games
In Kind Kingdom, Internauts battle their way through cyberbullies to spread positivity. The game places your character at the base of the mountain with the intention of teaching school-aged children how to block and report bullies. The small character will fight their way through while spreading good vibes while you try to restore the peaceful nature of Kind Kingdom.
In Reality River, Internauts learn about the differences of fact and fiction. This game focuses on a river that flows through Interland. To cross the rapids, players must use their best judgment and also be able to deflect any antics of the phisher lurking in the water. The game is designed to teach children what a phisher is and will help them notice when something seems “off” or strange about certain situations online.
Mindful Mountain is the town center of Interland. Google says that mindful mountain is the place where everyone mingles and crosses paths, but for Internauts to be careful about what they share. The focus of the game is to teach children the consequences of how information can travel at the speed of light, what information is appropriate to share, and what information should never be shared. This game is designed to help kids retain their privacy online.
Tower of Treasure
The fourth game, Tower of Treasure, refocuses the efforts of educating Internauts on online privacy. The message of the game focuses on outrunning a hacker by building a fortress with strong passwords. The game encourages the Internauts to secure their online accounts with passwords and other safety measures.
Why Do We Need Interland?
Hackers always try to exploit the easiest target first, and that, unfortunately, can mean children. However, it is not only hackers that children need to worry about online. The rise of social media and digital devices has led to an increase in other online threats like cyber-bullying. Digital devices mean that bullying no longer stays on the schoolyard, instead, it’s a persistent 24-hour stream of comments and harassment. Interland not only focuses on ways to tackle it at school but also solutions and prevention for when children leave school.
In most cases, bullying, especially cyber-bullying can be hard to notice and spot. Interland’s curriculum not only is educational for children but teachers, too. The online service will allow collective efforts to noticing signs of online bullying and preventing it from happening.
Are You a Victim of Cyber-Bullying?
Many new programs and tools are being introduced into the market to stop cyber-bullying, phishing attempts and more.