With US students returning to school over the coming weeks, Facebook has updated its parent and student resource tools, in order to provide additional guidance to help parents manage their students' online activity, and help students avoid unwanted exposure online.
As per Facebook:
"We are excited to announce that we have expanded the content for the back-to-school season based on parent and teacher feedback to further support facilitation in the classroom, after school and at home."
Launched late last year, Facebook's 'Get Digital' platform aims to improve digital literacy, and keep users safe while logging into their lessons online. Which, given the ongoing lockdowns, is a major point of concern for many in the back-to-school period.
Facebook's new Get Digital elements include:
- Professional Development - Five individual professional development guides to be used by teacher leaders to train educators on how to use these materials in the classroom.
- After School Guide - A facilitator’s guide designed for after school programming to support the usage of Get Digital in an after-school setting and among youth serving organizations.
- Media Literacy Lessons - New media literacy lessons on reverse image search and metadata for our Get Digital Engagement pillar. These were drawn from the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Youth and Media.
These are important tools, and really, should become part of the general educational curriculum. These days, the majority of our interactions come via online means, and with more businesses looking to let people work from home, and more students logging in remotely, that reliance is only going to increase.
Some regions have already started building digital literacy into the general education stream, which seems like the right way to go. Most, however, are not at that stage as yet, and as such, these new resources could prove extremely valuable for those looking to take it upon themselves to improve teacher and student understanding of these essential elements.
In addition to this, Facebook has also launched an updated Child Safety Hub, which is designed to further support parents, caregivers and educators with resources to facilitate increased youth safety online.
"The hub centralizes and expands upon our expert-informed, research-based programs in the areas of online safety, digital literacy, well-being, and bullying prevention. In addition, it will serve as a resource for live and on-demand training presented in partnership with our safety partners."
Facebook further notes that, over the course of the next few weeks, its Child Safety Hub will be available in 55 languages.
These are important initiatives from Facebook, which align with increasing societal trends, and cater to what may be a gap in the educational curriculum in regards to dealing with increased online usage. Of course, parents and educators are well aware of these concerns, and many have implemented their own programs and processes to help provide insight and information on these elements. But if you're looking for more, or you simply want to brush up on your own knowledge, it's worth referring to Facebook's updated tools.