Facebook is developing safety tools for parents and educators to prepare today's youth for the digital world. The company's new The Digital Literacy Library is designed to help middle school and high school educators explain topics like internet safety, privacy, reputation, identity exploration, and security while online.
The site is set up like a curriculum with 18 lessons lasting about an hour and a half with group activities. All the lessons are downloadable with printable worksheets.
The lessons are in English, but will be available in 45 different languages eventually.
While the lessons are mostly focused on teachers, they can--and perhaps, should--also be focused on parents. The implication of Facebook aiming this on teachers is that it places a greater burden on the shoulders of our educators, when it should remain with the parents.
The library lessons aren't completely limited to youths however. Nonprofits, small businesses, and community colleges are also brushing up on their digital literacy skills, and they could use this as well.
Interestingly, a lesson missing from the otherwise reasonably comprehensive library is spotting fake news. This seems strange in the wake of Facebook's troubles with inaccurate information during the 2016 election.
In the last five years, the skyrocketing popularity of smartphones has placed devices into the hands of most of the population. Smaller hands in turn, are interested to see what all the hype is about.
Facebook is trying to encourage respect, empathy and positivity in youths starting out online.
By far, a huge attraction of phones for everyone is the photo-filter features like Snapchat and Instagram. The young and old alike love the augmented reality of rainbows pouring out of your mouth and turning into a puppy.
Facebook's Messenger Kids app allows kids to communicate with parent-approved friends and family while using fun picture filters, sound effects, and stickers.
The app's developers say that Messenger Kids is a safe training ground to let kids try social media under parental supervision before letting them have the real thing. Slowly introducing social media might be better than forbidding social apps until kids are "old enough," then expecting them to make good choices while navigating unknown territory.
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- The Digital Literacy Library web app, launched by Facebook, offers 18 lessons for teens on internet safety, privacy, reputation, and identity.
- Facebook also offers the Youth Portal and Messenger Kids, programs geared to make first time internet users better digital citizens.
- How to use Facebook's new 'Watch Party' feature on the Android or iOS app
- Facebook rolls out 'progressive web app' hybrid of a mobile app and a mobile website
- Apple News app fights fake news with humans, launches new section on 2018 midterm elections
- News With Friends is a new app that's joining the fight against fake news
- Facebook's newest problem: Business is slowing (CNET)
- Fed up? How to delete or deactivate your Facebook account (ZDNet)
- Workplace by Facebook: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)