Webonauts Internet Academy is an interactive children’s website created by PBS Kids which aims to show children the ropes of proper online etiquette and train them in ways to put the Internet to good use. Users travel to the Webonuts space station to begin, setting up an avatar to use and learning the basic motto of the institution: Observe, Respect and Contribute. From there, they’ll travel to different planets and meet new characters along the way. Outerspace is meant to represent the Internet, with different places to visit, areas that are off limits and new, “alien” characters to meet. Various problems arise on the ship and around the galaxy, and its up to the Webonauts to solve them. Many missions revolve around a former Webonaut called The Great Static, who has abandoned the academy and its motto, traveling around the galaxy harassing others and causing mischief. Using the tools of the Internet and good manners, users must solve these issues, earning in-game items such as hats and pets as rewards. The website requires basic reading skills to understand and navigate, and is targeted to children about 7-11 years old.
Understanding and articulating her own thoughts and feelings.
The goal of Webonauts Internet Academy is to help kids become better digital citizens by teaching them to the right tools and etiquette of the online world. From learning how to interact with and treat others online, to researching topics on the web and deciding which sources of information to trust, the website aims to help children become more aware of their web-browsing habits, and then take steps to improve them.
Managing our actions, feelings and behaviors.
Kids with poor Self-Control skills commonly need help avoiding poor behavior online, so having your child earn a certificate from the Webonauts Internet Academy is a good way to help curb bad behaviors before they start. Graduates are taught to treat others with respect and become responsible digital citizens of the online world. Impulsive actions like posting reactionary comments or rude language is frowned upon, and users instead earn medals for controlling their behavior and being thoughtful while browsing the web. Instilling good online habits by graduating from Webonuats Internet Academy is a good first step kids can take to becoming responsible digital citizens of the Internet.
Recalling and retaining information in our mind while working.
The interactive activities children complete during their time with Webonauts offer up a variety of tips and guidelines to follow when interacting with the real online word, and quizzes children to recall and use these guidelines as they explore the academy. Lessons are learned through fisrt-hand experience, in the hopes they'll be recalled and applied when met in the real world. For example, the site discusses the important topic of privacy when users set up their profile. Here, kids create a username and password, and learn about privacy concerns, with Webonuts explaining that kids should never share identifying information such as names, adresses or the school they attend. Through hands-on learning, Webonuats aims to make it easier for kids to recall and apply the advice they learn through the service when applicable situations arise in real life.
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