Google Launches Online Media Literacy Courses for Youth

Laura BednarCybersecurityLeave a Comment

google media literacy course

In a world where there are cyber threats around every corner and people are bullied online, there is a bright spot for a new generation of online users. Google has added to its existing online digital safety course with a new media literacy unit aimed at children. The new course helps kids to verify credible information, avoid phishing, and be a generally respectful person when interacting with others online.

Internet Courses for Digital Safety

Google’s current digital safety and citizenship curriculum is called, “Be Internet Awesome” and has been in existence for two years. Its goal is to teach kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can be confident in using the internet. The new additional courses were developed by two experts in the field of security; one from The Net Safety Collaborative and another who is a co-founder of the National Association for Media Literacy Education.

The courses combine instruction with activities as well as discussion topics to help children think about the threats at hand. These courses cover several categories:

  • Avoiding phishing attacks
  • What bots are
  • Recognizing Fake URLs
  • Finding credible information
  • Evaluating sources
  • Identifying disinformation

Google has already posted a phishing quiz earlier this year to test people’s knowledge of a real email versus one from a scammer looking for information. Other companies are also taking the initiative to teach cyber safety like GCF Global who created an internet safety tutorial for parents with links for kids. In this case, the safety criteria are meant for families to do together.

Incorporating Media Literacy in the School Systems

The United States Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity Education Training Assistance Program gives K-12 teachers the necessary tools to teach their students about cybersecurity. The curriculum that is taught covers cyber issues, cybersecurity education, and provides students with the skills to possibly pursue a career in the cybersecurity field.

These lessons in addition to Google’s tips for safe sharing and being internet kind may become the building blocks of media literacy. The main points of this type of knowledge are:

  • Resisting advertising to be a conscientious consumer
  • Thinking critically and forming individual opinions on topics
  • Understanding the goal of the author and media piece

Future of Online Safety

While these classes are becoming more prominent in school systems, they are still not completely widespread. Cyberbullying, phishing attempts, and malicious links are still lurking on web pages throughout the internet. Our Secure Forensics team can effectively stop a data breach and catch a cyberbully. Additionally, we are an SSAE 18 certified company that follows the strictest security standards when handling your devices and information. For more information on any of our services, call 1-800-388-1266.