Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Educating Across the Globe for Safer Internet Day



As more of our life happens online, Internet skills are crucial to living responsibly. So what are the skills needed to navigate today’s Internet society? To answer this question and help adapt to digital society, parents and educators are working together to find new ways to teach themselves, their families, and their communities about important topics like identity protection, online security, and digital citizenship.

Today, on Safer Internet Day, we are proud to partner with Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely, the National Consumers League, on launching a new digital literacy portal called ThinkB4U. ThinkB4U combines “choose-your-own-adventure” style videos with expert advice from leading online safety NGOs and the Federal Trade Commission’s OnGuard Online resources.

ThinkB4U is just one example of how seriously we take the challenge of increasing safety on the web. Here are a few examples of Google’s involvement across the globe, along with inspiring efforts from our partners, NGOs, government stakeholders, and researchers from Asia-Pacific to Europe:

Awareness Campaigns
  • Australia: The Google Australia team is raising awareness of Google and YouTube safety tools by placing advertisements in newspapers and online.
  • Russia: In collaboration with Net Literacy we are meeting with over 200 Russian journalism students to engage them in a broader discussion on digital literacy, and what they can personally do in their schools and local communities. Additionally, we are hosting a series of international expert panels at the Safer Internet Forum
Research and Technical Solutions
  • UK: We are funding research by Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre (YAW-CRC) on how parents can practice online safety (part 1 and part 2).
  • France: We are supporting great work by e-Enfance on Net Ecoute Chrome extension an extension that allows for quick access to online discussions with a helpline counselor.
  • Italy: Italian child advocacy organization Telefono Azzurro has decided to share a Google Search Appliance that we had previously donated with all of the members of Missing Children Europe (MCE)—the federation of national NGOs responsible for the European 116.000 phone hotline. We hope the use of our GSA will help streamline processes among the members of MCE in combating child exploitation and recovering missing children throughout Europe.
Events
  • Israel: Following our successful launch of the Web-Rangers program, Israel’s Ministry of Education has invited these talented online safety ambassadors to present their projects all across Israel and on YouTube.
  • Hong Kong: We are working with Weborganic, an organization tasked by the government to bridge the digital divide in schools, on an online safety exhibition for participating students and teachers.
  • Indonesia: We are organizing a series of trainings for NGOs, youth and community leaders, educators, and officials in the Ministry of Communications.
  • Germany: Wieland Holfelder, Google Engineering Director, is keynoting a session on safe Internet use at the Safer Internet Event in Germany, organized by Bitkom and the Ministry of Consumer Protection (BMELV).
  • Portugal: We’re launching the Google Family Safety Center in Portugal with an event in Lisbon, chaired by the President of the National Commission for Children's Protection and Young at Risk, Mr. Armando Leandro.
There is still much to be done to achieve high levels of digital literacy for everyone. We hope that these projects and events will boost advocacy for online safety education, the importance of which is invaluable in a deeply connected world.

Check out the EU Public Policy Blog for more Safer Internet Day information!

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