Be Internet Awesome (Toolbox Review)
Updated: Sep 13, 2018
In 2018, more and more teachers are making the move to flipped classrooms, 21st Century Students, and getting their kids on the net. It's important for students to understand topics like Digital Citizenship and Net Safety before they really get to explore the web, but it's hard to engage students in a "lecture" about being a good person (they already know how to do that, so they think). This is where Be Internet Awesome from Google comes in.
Be Internet Awesome is Google's contribution to our growing digital students, starting the conversation of Digital Citizenship early.
It's composed of different aspects: Lesson Plans (built to work with PearDeck),
posters and other printables, and "Interland". Interland is the fun, interactive game included in Be Internet Awesome and likely where your students would spend most of their time as they learn about being productive online citizens.
The lesson plans in Be Internet Awesome work with PearDeck to make the lessons interactive for the students. You can access a wide number of Google Slides presentations on the different aspects of being internet awesome to go along with the Interland game students are playing.
Be Internet Awesome is filled with resources to help your students in their journeys through Interland, including things like posters and a Papercraft activity.
It even includes an agreement to Be Internet Awesome you can have each of your students sign as they complete each step of the process.
The papercraft activity gives you a PDF for each of the different characters students meet in Interland that you can cut out and have them fold and put together, making for some pretty awesome table-top variations of the Interland games.
If you're spending a whole unit on this project, it could be fun to print and cut these out for your students before beginning the unit, cut a small slit where the mouth would be on the finished papercraft, and stick nametags into their "mouths" and place one on each students desk to get them excited for the unit.
Interland is the most exciting part of Be Internet Awesome. It's the interactive video game to go along with the rest of the materials.
In the game, your goal is to pass information on over the net and send it to the right people.
For example, you might be asked to share an embarrassing photo of a friend. Students have to decide, first, who that should be shared to (friends, public, or family), and secondly, how to get it there by bouncing a light beam off of different mirrors.
Students spend the game having to avoid a red polygonal character who seeks to
use the information they're spreading incorrectly. If students do accidentally pass it on to this "bad guy", they get a message telling them why it shouldn't be spread to the wrong person.
Interland walks them through things like photos, passwords, and cell phone numbers and continues to introduce new challenges as students progress.
The game is gorgeous and simple; it ran amazingly on my Chromebook in the browser and even has an app available for Chromebooks, and it's straightforward and intuitive to use.
Be Internet Awesome takes a lot of the fear out of learning about digital safety. It makes it easier for teachers to teach it with all of the available resources, and it makes it more fun for students to use. It highlights the positives of becoming internet awesome, instead of showcasing how scary the net can be. It's completely free and aligned with standards set by ISTE.
5 / 5
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