Meta is looking to do its part to advance digital literacy, with the final episode of its new ‘Pledge Planets’ online safety series now available within Messenger Kids.
As you can see in this video, ‘Pledge Planets’ aims to provide lessons in how to stay safe while engaging online, while also maintaining respect for others and how they view your comments and actions within shared spaces.
As explained by Meta:
“Digital citizenship is an important skill for kids to learn as they begin spending time online. [Pledge Planets] aims to reinforce the key elements of the Messenger Kids Pledge – Be Kind, Be Respectful, Be Safe, Have Fun – to help shape what could be their first online messaging experience.”
The program consists of four ‘planets’ that kids can explore to learn lessons about online interaction. There are games in each planet, along with the video clips, which provide a fun, interactive way to learn the key lessons around online safety and engagement.
Meta developed the program in partnership with its Youth Advisors team, a group of experts in the fields of online safety, child development and children’s media. That’s helped Meta formulate a more effective, inclusive and complete program that will provide much-needed guidance for youngsters as they begin their online interactions.
Which is an important step. These days, web connectivity is an essential element of daily life for most, and as reliance on the internet continues to rise, so too do the risks for youngsters who can unwittingly find themselves in dangerous and harmful situations, through just an ill-advised search or a misguided comment.
The last two years have only exacerbated the risks in this respect, with youngsters forced to spend more and more time online, and with social division increasing through online discourse and engagement, it’s important that kids are shown, at a young age, how the systems work, and what they can do to better manage their interactions.
Really, digital literacy should now be on the curriculum in all schools, which is increasingly the case, but generally comes down to a school-by-school and region-by-region approach, as opposed to a more overarching strategy for teaching digital engagement principles.
Some regions, for example, have seen great success in teaching the fundamentals of online news, and the warning signs of misinformation, in order to improve broader discourse.
Such examples show the way forward for digital literacy, and the more we can teach these elements to youngsters, the better off we’ll be in the longer term.
The full Messenger Kids ‘Pledge Planets’ series is now available in the app.