With many students returning to school in digital form, as opposed to the regular classroom, Facebook has launched a new initiative to help improve digital literacy and keep users safe while logging into their lessons online.
As explained by Facebook:
"We understand back-to-school looks different this year due to COVID-19, and parents, teachers and students around the world are facing a myriad of challenges, from remote teaching and learning, balancing work and home responsibilities, and most importantly, maintaining the safety and well-being of everyone involved. Get Digital, our digital citizenship and wellbeing program, provides schools and families with lesson plans and activities to help build the core competencies and skills young people need to navigate the digital world in safe ways."
The new program, which has its own mini-site, includes a range of courses on various elements of digital connection, with dedicated sections for students, parents and teachers.
In addition to this, Facebook will also be hosting a series of live events in September to provide assistance and guidance for young people, addressing a range of key concerns. The first session discussed mental health issues among younger users, with additional resources and input from the JED Foundation.
A lot of the resources on the new Get Digital platform are similar to those available on Facebook's Parents Portal hub, but with a more dedicated focus on digital learning and literacy, based on how more students are now utilizing connectivity. Facebook also launched a similar 'Educator Hub' resource last month, though the Get Digital program seems more aimed at catering to younger students as well.
And that could be a transformative shift. While the current situation sees students logging in online because of COVID-19 restrictions, many businesses, and indeed, schools, are likely finding that there are efficiencies and benefits to home learning, which will lead to the evolution of such tools.
Which could make educational resources like this even more relevant. Indeed, digital literacy should now be on every school curriculum, and Facebook's resources could be a good place to start in educating younger users on how to make best, safe use of the various online resources.
You can check out the new Get Digital hub here.