Safer Internet Day : NCERT with Google adds a Chapter on Digital Citizenship

by February 6, 2018 0 comments

Students from class I – class XII across 1.4 million schools in India will now read a chapter on Digital citizenship in their NCERT textbooks. Through this chapter they will learn how to become good and responsible digital citizens, through structured classroom modules on the social, ethical and legal aspects of Internet safety.

On Safer Internet Day, Google has announced its collaboration with NCERT to integrate a course on Digital Citizenship and Safety in the ICT (Information and communication technology) curriculum.

In addition, Google has also created a curriculum for teachers, so that they can help students learn all about digital citizenship in their classrooms.

Commenting on the collaboration with NCERT, Sunita Mohanty, Director, Trust and Safety, Google India said, “While the Internet has made life easier for everyone and offers so many opportunities to explore, create and collaborate across all age groups, users online or those coming online for the first time, need to be aware of the possible negative experiences that they may incur on the web. This makes it important for us to start a dialogue on the dangers and threats they can be exposed to when surfing the net. Through our course integration with NCERT, we aim to catch children young and teach them the essentials of staying safe, while exploring the online world.”

With signing an MoU with NCERT, Google further plans to inculcate same curriculum with other boards as well. “We are also planning to work with other boards. In addition to that we will sign other MoUs; these are created by policy teams in India in collab with state governments. So far this curriculum is launched in Telangana, Goa. It will be launched in Gujarat soon.” she said.

Dr. Amarendra Behera, Joint Director, CIET – NCERT, “School education is the foundation for a successful future. We are glad to partner with Google and place on record their association in developing and transacting ICT in Education courses for School Education that is relevant in today’s context. In an increasingly connected world, the internet is fast emerging as a learning space for our students and it’s our responsibility as educators to provide them with a safe learning environment. We hope this initiative will prepare our students to identify the threats and ensure a safe web experience online.”

How this curriculum is designed

The curriculum is designed keeping 4 themes in mind:

  • Being Smart
  • Being Safe
  • Being a Digital Citizen
  • Being Future Ready

“We have structured the curriculum through age groups; for example for young kids teachers will introduce them to internet and impart knowledge of basic tools. For older kids we will teach them about account security (which includes making strong passwords, identifying good and bad content, etc) and in advance course we will talk about privacy, device management, intellectual property rights and reputation management etc. On verge of graduation, google also gives knowledge of online financial literacy and cyber crime concepts so they are future ready.” explains Mohanty.

More Initiatives in future

As we all evolve with the technology Google is bound to put up new initiatives in future.

“We are completely invested towards new initiatives with advancements of technologies.  We want to make sure that when next 650 million comes online they harness the awesomeness of internet. We believe that great internet starts with you and we are trying to get you to understand what it takes to be safe online” said mohanty on the new initiatives in future.

On this occasion, Google also announced the winners of the 3rd edition of its Web Rangers competitionan initiative that is designed to spread awareness about Internet safety and promote digital citizenship. Seventeen year old Arjun S from Chennai created Alice Safety Bot, an AI powered bot that answers your internet safety related questions; 13 year old Mrigank Pawagi from Noida created the android app WebMe, a fun and educative game that allows users to learn how to stay safe online by completing interesting challenges that take them to different levels; Juyeong Suk, 17 years, from Kolkata and a team of 16 year olds from Pune – Chaitanya Kedar Sapre, Om Patil and Ishika Kulkarni, created innovative stop motion videos and 15 year old Akashdeep from Ranchi designed an innovative poster that represents how WebRangers can protect the internet.

Congratulating the winners, Sunita Mohanty, Director, Trust and Safety, Google India said, We are overwhelmed with the participation shown by students for the third edition of the Web Rangers Contest. This year has been our most successful edition as we saw equal participation from students across private and government schools. With their creative ideas, teenagers helped us spread the message of internet safety and good digital citizenship, whilst empowering their friends and families to have a safer and meaningful digital experience.”

Google’s Web Rangers Contest Touches A New High

The third edition of the Web Rangers Contest received over 5000 projects, campaigns and posters from across the country, including smaller cities like Ukhra in West Bengal, Hingna in Maharashtra and Davanagere in Karnataka. Over 50% of the entries were from non-metro cities. The entries includedvideos, apps, games, posters, websites and a host of other interesting projects and campaigns which indicate how keen children are on the topic of Internet Safety. The submissions were judged on creativity, reach and impact. Launched in 2015, Google’s Web Rangers program has trained over 30,000 student ambassadors across private and government schools from over 75 cities in 12 states.

With India crossing the 400 million internet user mark in 2017, Google is committed to making the web a safer place for every Indian. In addition to the collaboration with NCERT, the company has proactively partnered with other like minded organisations and the Government to work towards raising awareness about Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety among all age groups in India.

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