- Kids and teens will access incentive-based, interactive activities that teach them about online safety issues in a fun, engaging way. A Platform for Good will foster participation and collaboration with youth.
- Parents will receive conversation starters and tips via text and social networking sites to encourage families to discuss current events, turning recent news into learning experiences.
- Teachers will find new instructional opportunities, including interesting videos and web-based activities to inspire their students.
Tech Savvy Mama: How did the idea for A Platform for Good come about?
Nancy Gifford, FOSI: FOSI and Facebook began discussing the need for new digital citizenship outreach to parents, teachers, kids and teens that focused on the positive uses of the Internet rather than on negatives behaviors. In addition, to avoid the concern that internet safety and digital citizenship curricula doesn’t get widespread distribution, there was a discussion about taking those messages to the places where families and teachers are already engaged and interacting, that is, on social media sites (such as Facebook and Google+) and on mobile devices. As part of that discussion, it became clear that the information could best be created and distributed if we made this a coalition effort and used the resources, knowledge and capabilities of the leaders in all facets of the industry: social, search, cable, telecommunications and mobile.
TSM: What are some of the topics that will be addressed through the interactive kid-teen site? What age range will the site target and will there be different sections geared towards different ages to ensure that the content is most age appropriate?
NG, FOSI: Yes, the sections will be geared towards different ages to ensure that the materials each of the kids and teens receives is appropriate to their age and to ensure that the information is relevant to them. For example for older teens, we expect that a stronger focus on volunteering opportunities because many older teens have volunteer service hour requirements for graduation. For younger teens, those who are at the age to get their first Facebook or Google+ account, it may be more appropriate to ensure they have the digital citizenship skills necessary for establishing those accounts.
TSM: From a parent perspective, what makes A Platform for Good educational rather than scary?
NG, FOSI: First and foremost, our information will be research-based. When one looks at the research, the overwhelming evidence is that kids and teens have positive interactions on line. The PEW report “Teens, Kindness and Cruelty on Social Network Sites” which was sponsored by FOSI and Cable in the Classroom is one of several studies to support this. Second, we will be sharing knowledge and helping parents feel more informed about how to approached digital issues with their kids. Third, we will be distributing news and stories related to positive online experiences about teachers, kids and teens who have used the Internet and technology to do good and inviting others to join in.
TSM: There are national standards for technology in education established through ISTE but districts vary in the importance they place on digital literacy and digital citizenship. How do you hope to get the word out to teachers in the hopes that they will integrate A Platform for Good into their classrooms and teaching?
NG, FOSI: Given the breadth and depth of our partners and their consumer bases, we expect we will be able to have a vast outreach to parents, teachers, kids and teens. In addition, it is important to note that we are not seeking to create a new curriculum for overwhelmed teachers to adopt. Instead, we envision providing teachers with additives to their classroom, such as videos and interactive platforms that will engage their students in short and captivating experiences.
TSM: What is one takeaway that you hope that parents, kids, and teachers will get from using the resources available on the site?
NG, FOSI: That the internet can be a place for great opportunities for kids and teens. An opportunity to learn, to show kindness and to do good.
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Original post by Tech Savvy Mama