Culture 3 min read

Google’s New Curriculum Teaches Kids How to Detect Fake News

To help parents and educators teach children how to spot fake news on the Internet, Google is introducing a new curriculum to its 'Be Internet Awesome' Program.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Google has launched a new curriculum to teach children how to spot fake news.

In July 2017, Google launched its “Be Internet Awesome” program for educators. Its purpose was simple, to teach children about online safety.

With that in mind, the search engine giant divided the program into four components. These are Internet Code of Awesome (the Code), Be Internet Awesome Pledge (the Pledge), and Be Internet Awesome Curriculum, including a browser-based game called Interland.

Thanks to a partnership with Net Safety Collaborative, Google is adding one more component to its campaign; media literacy.

The new program includes play-to-learn activities designed to teach kids how to detect disinformation. These include fake URLs and misleading headlines.

In an announcement on Google’s blog, educator and teachmama.com founder, Amy Mascott said:

“I’ve worked alongside dozens of educators who believe that media literacy is essential to safety and citizenship in the digital age, but agree that it’s a topic that can be tough to cover.”

Be Internet Awesome: Teaching Children to Spot Fake News

The new curriculum features various “Don’t Fall for Fake” activities and discussion starters to enhance children’s critical thinking skills.

With this knowledge, they should be able to tell the difference between credible and non-credible news sources. Also, kids will also learn to spot and avoid bad URLs.

Other media literacy activities include “Share with Care” and “It’s Cool to be Kind.” While the latter is about online harassment, the former teaches kids how to maintain an excellent online reputation.

Aside from the new curriculum, Google has also entered a nationwide partnership with YMCA. Using this platform, the search engine giant intends to help families educate their kids about several other topics.

For example, social media usage, cyberbullying, and disinformation.

Google and Internet Safety

While Google is trying to teach kids about internet safety, the company is doing a terrible job at it.

The usual approach to internet safety for kids focuses on restricted use, monitoring, and filters. Unfortunately, these methods are not as effective as we would wish.

For example, the YouTube Kids app supposedly has an automatic filter to remove videos with violence, deaths, etc. However, inappropriate contents have slipped through the app’s algorithm in the past.

Also, Google was recently accused of spreading propaganda and disinformation via its YouTube platform. The company has not done a stellar job of taking the sources down.

With that said, Google’s new “Be Internet Awesome” curriculum is aimed at kids between age seven and twelve. The search engine released the program to educators and family members yesterday.

Read More: New Google Play Store Malware Avoids SMS Two-Factor Authentication

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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