Google’s annual Web Rangers competition, in celebration of Safe Internet Day, is back, and Google is now inviting entries from children between the ages of 10 and 17.
The competition requires parents of children who are citizens of India and enrolled in a school or registered to be homeschooled to submit their offspring’s projects or campaigns related to the theme of web safety. Each project or campaign is required to focus on perpetuating safe and secure internet browsing practices and has to be original and creative and related to the theme “Fighting Misinformation- Finding the good, keeping the bad way” or “Together for Safer Internet.”
To enter the contest, interested candidates may visit the Contest website form between 18th December 2018 and 28th February 2019 and upload the requisite information. Only the parents or guardians of the candidates are allowed to submit the entries. And candidates are also required to obtain consent from parents/ guardians, which should then be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The winning entries shall be invited to an award ceremony where they shall be awarded certificates of achievement and other prizes.
Google’s official blog has announced the winners of its annual Web Rangers competition to commemorate Safe Internet Day. Web Rangers 2018 was held for children between the ages of 10 and 17, and Google claims to have received creative submissions related to ways one can be safe when using the internet from children belonging to places like Ukhra in West Bengal, Hingna in Maharashtra, and Davanagere in Karnataka which has led Google to comment that “teenagers from deep interiors of the country are just as conscious of digital citizenship and safe practices on the internet.”
17-year-old Arjun S from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, has grabbed the first position by designing an AI-powered virtual assistant named Alice Safety Bot. This bot answers safety-related questions via a messaging app on the Google platform. www.alicesafetybot.com enlists the instructions on how to use it, besides allowing users to contribute their ideas to develop the bot and make it more efficient over time. ALICE Safety Bot’s program code can also be downloaded for free to be embedded in applications or websites. As of now, Arjun is working on making the bot more accessible by trying to make it available in more local and international languages.
Mrigank Pawagi is a 13-year-old from Noida, UP, who has bagged second place by designing WebME, a gaming app. It is an interactive Android game that can be played offline as well and takes a fun approach to teaching users Cyber Security Fundamentals. Each of the levels has its own set of lessons and trivia, winning which affords the player a certificate as an endowment of bragging rights.
Jeong Suk, a 17-year-old from Kolkata, West Bengal, came up with a well-put-together spot motion video. A peppy background score and colorful visuals highlight three fundamentals of being safe online, fetching Suk third place in the competition.
The 16-year-old trio, Chaitanya Kedar Sapre, Om Patil, & Ishika Kulkarni, from Pune, Maharashtra, came fourth with their innovative stop motion videos created using Legos to create the different situations when users can be harmed online if they are not observing prescribed security measures. Cyber Bullying, protecting passwords, and cybercrime were issues covered in the videos which were uploaded to YouTube and Instagram.
15-year-old Akashdeep from Ranchi, Jharkhand, managed the fifth position with his poster that combined technology and mythology to convey a powerful message about internet safety. Phishing and crimes on social media are issues addressed by the poster, besides instructions on how to stay safe online.
He believes that the Web Rangers community can join together as a powerful force to protect the web and fight cybercrime – Google
In an innovative initiative, Google has also come together with NCERT to launch lessons on ‘Digital Citizenship as part of the curriculum for students in India. An initiative that keeps in mind the fact that children are being exposed to the internet from ages as early as three will focus on ensuring that students are aware of “the social, ethical, and legal aspects of Internet safety.”
The course will be covered with an importance similar to that given to any other subject and shall be regularly graded. Google’s blog reads its aims: “in lower classes, students will focus on engaging with technology and learning the use of basic digital tools. In middle classes, students will be introduced to the internet’s basics, account safety concepts, and distinguishing good content from bad. As they advance through their classes, they will be taught more advanced topics such as privacy, device management, intellectual property, and reputation management.
Finally, as they become ready to graduate as digital citizens, they will be prepared with online financial literacy and cybercrime concepts so that they are future-ready. Google has also created a curriculum for teachers to help students and kids learn about digital citizenship in their classrooms.”