With 29 percent of India’s population under 14 years of age, and online learning the way ahead, it’s important to ensure online safety; the Digital Citizenship and Safety course is a step in this direction.
The internet may have made the world a really small place and may be enabling greater communication and better access to information, but it also brings great risk to children and young adults.
In the wake of threats like the Blue Whale Challenge and online bullying, it's important to promote the safe use of digital technology in home and at school among children.
To this end, to educate children about safety on the worldwide web, Google India has collaborated with NCERT to create a course on Digital Citizenship and Safety.
This course, which will be taught as part of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) curriculum in schools, will provide students in around 1.4 million schools access to this learning.
Students will learn about being responsible citizens through structured classroom modules about the ethical and legal aspects of internet safety. Sunita Mohanty, Director, Trust and Safety at Google India, says:
“Users need to be aware of the negative experiences on the web. NCERT and Google aim to catch children young and teach them the essentials of staying safe on the internet.”
A teacher training module will educate teachers about the perils of the online world so they are better equipped to tell students about information gathering on the internet. Amarendra Behera, Joint Director, CIET – NCERT, says: “The internet is so vast, it is the de facto place for learning today and students should know the safety aspects of the internet.”
The syllabus for online safety presented in the curriculum will be graded and has four themes. The themes are Being Smart; Being Safe; Being a Digital Citizen; and Being Future Ready.
Google India and NCERT hope the course will heighten the curiosity aspect of learning. Students will be also be taught topics such as privacy, device management, intellectual property, and reputation management.