A new app is available on Apple devices today that aims to teach kids in the 11-14 year-old bracket about cyber safety. The app, BeSeen, was developed by Carnegie Mellon University’s Information Networking Institute (INI) and the national nonprofit Web Wise Kids who worked side-by-side to bring their missions together and create a social media simulation video game, according the article, “App Promotes Savvy Web Use Among Kids.”
To play the video game, the player creates a social networking profile, then goes through a condensed school year having to deal with issues from cyber-bullying to keeping their personal information secure online. As kids are becoming users of technology at earlier and earlier ages, it’s become more important to start teaching them about the serious repercussions of information sharing on the Internet.
The article uses the example:
“…children may not realize that posting about the family’s planned Disney vacation is also telling everyone that the house will be empty for days and possibly vulnerable to burglary. Or that simply repeating someone else’s inappropriate post can have implications.”
You might be thinking 11-years old is too young to need to worry about cyber bullying, information sharing, and social networking, since most sites require kids to be at least 13-years-old to be users. This may be so, but it’s estimated that despite the age requirement, there are 7.5 million preteens using social networking sites in the U.S.
“App Promotes Savvy Web Use Among Kids,” by Steve Twedt. 12 October 2011. Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Accessed on 13 October 2011. <http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11285/1181340-28.stm>