Webonauts Internet Academy is an original web game from PBS KIDS GO! that gives 8- to 10-year-olds an opportunity to have some fun while exploring what it means to be a citizen in a web-infused‚ information-rich world. It is an engaging experience on its own but becomes all the more powerful when parents and teachers use game play as a springboard for conversations about media literacy and citizenship in the 21st Century.
In taking on the role of a Webonaut and completing a series of missions‚ players confront issues central to good citizenship: identity‚ privacy‚ credibility and web safety. Game scenarios take place in both online and offline encounters because good citizenship spans both.
Because it addresses issues of web safety‚ information literacy and digital citizenship‚ Webonauts Internet Academy can be a great tool for classrooms and school media centers. Teachers‚ librarians and technology coordinators can support student learning by using the game as a warm-up activity to a unit on cybersafety, as a resource before hosting a debate on digital citizenship, or as a requirement before using school computers.