Since children spend more time online due to school closures and COVID-19 lockdowns, the possibility of them heading into the darker corners of the internet has increased.
Many parents are also so busy with work from home that they are unable to watch what their kids are doing, which adds to the problem.
In order to solve this problem, Facebook launched a new educational tool this week for children, parents and educators to "provide lessons and tools to help young people develop the skills and competencies they need to access the internet more safely."
The latest project—simply named 'Get Digital' —contains many dedicated fields of education, each provide a video summary, and links to a variety of tools and resources to help enhance digital literacy.
Image Source: IITE Unesco
According to Facebook, the program aims to show participants how to:
- Stay safe online and keep their personal data secure
- Manage data and information, and assess a source's credibility
- Create healthy and inclusive online communities by being compassionate and respectful to others
- Manage their well-being and health by learning how to control emotions and build healthier habits of when to use technology
It will also help them find out how to use technology for civic and political participation. It enables them to learn digital skills, such as understanding algorithms and explore programming to prepare for future technology careers.
As stated, with more students spending most of their time online to attend school lessons and for entertainment during the lockdown, it becomes extremely important for them to consider the dangers and risks of doing so and how they can prevent potentially predatory conditions.
But more than this, Facebook tries to help motivate children by providing a deeper understanding of social media and content distribution frameworks to help reduce the impacts of misguided information and false narratives online.
Finland has already introduced a new education program, starting from elementary school, which focuses on investigating false media information and promotes critical thinking.
It has seen considerable progress in combating the impacts of false news. The system has been in place since 2014, and Finland ranked 1st in a survey last year in terms of "resilience to digital misinformation and exploitation."
Facebook's educational services come from a wide variety of professional sources including UNESCO, the International Society for Education Technology (ISTE), National PTA, Harvard University and the Greater Good Science Centre. And the courses and lessons available are also targeted towards educators and parents.
You can check out the full range of resources at a new dedicated mini-site here.