webonauts internet academy
Considering I’m still learning how to effectively and safely maneuver through the digital landscape of the vast internet myself, I can’t even imagine what it must be like for kids. My own oldest is now coming to the age where the online community will be soon be her oyster. Scary for her–but probably more scary for me.

Clearly I’m not alone here, or at least that’s the sense I’m getting with today’s launch of PBS’s new PBS KID’s GO! Digital Citizenship initiative.

Teaming up with Common Sense Media, an organization we’ve previously given thumbs up to on Cool Mom Picks, PBS Parents is aiming to provide young internet explorers and their parents with the tools that they’ll need to for internet independence–the smart and safe kind–through the Webonauts Internet Academy.

This very cool game-type experience puts kids 8-18 through a series of missions that educate them on myriad online safety issues, like privacy settings, password protection, and really, everything a young (and old) internet explorer needs to be prepared. Especially considering they might not be keen on hearing from you. (Sorry, moms.)

I really adore the charming animation, and the comic-style interface which feels accessible to even older teens. Heck, even older parents. And I particularly love the Webonauts training motto: Observe, Respect, Contribute.

Completion earns your kids a printable certificate, which is nice incentive and all. But what I think is better is the confidence you’ll both come away with, in being able to navigate the wonders of the internet without having to worry about hackers and bullies. Insert big sigh of relief here. -Kristen

For more information about PBS Parent’s new Digital Citizenship initiative and the Webonauts Internet Academy, visit PBSParents.org. And keep in mind that this site isn’t just for kids. Parents like you and me can find free, helpful guides on how to educate ourselves and our kids about online safety.

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