This hypothetical situation is for the children out there. You are surfing the Internet, and you chance upon a website that asks you to rate your classmates based on how cute and smart they are. What will you do? (a) Rate them (b) Ignore it (c) Find out who manages the website and ask them to remove this exercise.
This hypothetical situation and question are partly patterned on a poser anyone playing any of the games at Digital Passport is likely to have faced. With questions like the aforementioned one, this game teaches participants to be an ‘upstander’ in the context of dispensing one’s duties as a digital citizen. With more and more children using smartphones and other digital devices to chat, text and play, digital citizenship skills are imperative.
Last year, Google launched its digital citizenship initiative, where it partnered with National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to teach lessons under four themes — being smart, being safe, being a digital citizen and being future-ready. Bethany High School in Bengaluru’s Koramangala area has the policy to restrict screen and gadget time at school as well as at home. The first Monday of every month is observed as ‘Digital Detox Day’. Wi-Fi on the campus is turned off. Teachers, the school management and parents are asked to keep their phones switched off. Reminders are sent to the school community through children and SMSes.
Delhi Public School (North) has a module on cyber safety in the curriculum. Through its Cyber Peace Clubs set up in various schools across India, Cyber Peace Foundation, an organisation working towards cyber security, has been nurturing digital warriors.