Yesterday (October 11), Google’s project “Be Internet Awesome” was officially launched in Vietnam. This is an educational project promoting safe and confident use of digital technology for children aged 7-13.
The project’s curriculum is specifically designed to provide children with the knowledge to safely and cautiously navigate through the Internet, restricting exposure to possible harmful behaviors, as well as to teach children the basic principles of Internet safety and digital citizenship so children can confidently explore the online world. This project is a part of the “Be Internet Awesome” Initiative for Vietnam.
Potential dangers facing children online
According to a report from DQ Institute, in 2020, Vietnam is among the countries with the lowest Child Online Safety Index in the world. Nielsen’s survey of children in four Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, shows that teenagers who uses the Internet for educational and entertainment purposes often face online dangers such as violent content, cyberbullying, fake news or threats from strangers. However, children tend to be unwilling to share these problems with their parents out of fear and concern, instead choosing to deal with the adversity on their own.
Confronting these circumstances, the project “Be Internet Awesome” was implemented, aiming to equip children with the necessary knowledge and tools for self protection and safe growth within online environments, as well as raising awareness for parents to confidently embark on safe cyber journeys with their children. Through this project, Google is supporting the national program “Protect and support children to engage safely and creatively in online environment 2021-2025” alongside the Information Security Administration – Ministry of Information and Communications.
“This initiative will contribute to the effective implementation of the Online Child Protection Program issued by the Prime Minister, therefore demonstrating Google’s active role and responsibility in child protection in Vietnam”, states Mr Nguyen Tuan Duc, Acting Director of Vietnam Cyber Emergency Response Center, Department of Information Security – Ministry of Information and Communications. “The Department of Information Security highly commends the launch of the program. In Vietnam, Google is a popular platform used by many people, including children, therefore this program contributes to raising awareness and equipping children with the knowledge and skills to protect themselves in the online environment, allowing children to navigate through the Internet with alertness, intelligence, compassion and courage.”
Google launching “Be Internet Awesome” in Vietnam
Be Internet Awesome is a global educational program by Google with the aim of raising children’s cyber safety awareness so that they can explore the online world safely and confidently.
In Vietnam, Be Internet Awesome (BIA) is partnering up with Cybersecurity Ambassadors such as: Ms. Nguyen Thuy Uyen Phuong – founder of Tomato Kids education system for children; Ms. Tran Thu Ha – journalist and author of many books on children’s education; Meritorious Artist Xuan Bac, singer Doan Trang and Mr. Le Ba Anh – founder of the YouTube channel Toystation with content aimed at children and families. With positive influences on the media, the companionship of the Cybersecurity Ambassadors will help spread awareness about online safety and contribute useful knowledge and experiences in education to shape young children into confident explorers of the Internet world. “With the complicated developments of the COVID pandemic, online learning has now become an indispensable part of people’s and children’s daily lives. We want to not only create useful and safe products but also to help users, especially young children, be aware of the dangers as well as have enough knowledge and means to protect themselves on the Internet. Through Be Internet Awesome, we hope to assist the Information Security Administration – Ministry of Information and Communications, educational organisations as well as Cyber Safety Ambassadors in building a strong foundation for digital citizenship in Vietnam.” – Tram Nguyen, National Manager, in charge of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia – Google Asia Pacific.
Scientifically and methodically built by Google, the diverse and completely free Be Internet Awesome curriculum provides a fun, suitable learning experience for children, surrounding five fundamental topics of online safety and digital citizenship. The curriculum captures children’s interest through an online game called Interland where players can embark on an adventurous quest about digital safety.
Link to Interland: https://beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com/en_us/interland
Be Internet Awesome’s curriculum includes:
- Contents following five main topics with easy-to-understand illustrations presented in a clear, intuitive way and in vibrant colours to suit children’s interests
- A smart Internet guide including tools and resources to help families learn and discuss online safety and digital citizenship at home.
- Five helpful tips on the five fundamental traits of online safety: Intelligence, Alert, Strong, Compassionate and Courageous
- Ready-to-download paper models of game characters for children and parents to explore together
The curriculum contains a variety of useful content not only for children but also educators and parents, which can be easily downloaded in PDF format on the program website. Parents, teachers or educators can refer to the curriculum to educate children on a variety of electronic devices.
In addition to the open resources, Google is cooperating with the Center for Family Health Counselling and Community Development (CFC) to implement the project in Vietnam. CFC supports the training of educators for the program and advocates for the program to schools, parents and students in Vietnam through seminars.
“The potential real-life risks for children such as being bullied, abducted or abused are similar to those in the online environment. Our job is not simply to protect children from risks, but more precisely to equip with the necessary knowledge and skills to protect themselves, especially in the context of the COVID pandemic where schools are temporarily closed and students are having to learn online. Before we talk about development and creativity, it is necessary to ensure safety first.” – Nguyen Hoang Anh, representative of Center for Family Health and Community Development (CFC Vietnam).
Safer with Google was launched in October aiming to build foundational knowledge and raise awareness by providing information security reports and knowledge for online self-protection. The practical, diverse and useful resources from this program will help Internet users in Vietnam of all ages, from children to adults. The Safer with Google program will introduce practical activities to Vietnam in October and November such as the cooperation between Google and the National Cybersecurity Monitoring Center (NCSC) to launch Google Safety Center – Family Safety in Vietnamese.
Event news on reputable media sites:
CFC Vietnam is honoured to be the partner bringing the Safer with Google Program to Vietnamese children in 2021-2022.
Organisations/individuals/divisions interested expanding training for the program Safer with Google please contact CFC via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone: Ms. Thuy – 0936.167.898 for more details