Digital Citizen (5th-6th): Be Internet Awesome

A multifaceted program designed to teach kids the skills they need to be safe and smart online, built around five foundational lessons:

  • Share with Care
  • Donʼt Fall for Fake
  • Secure Your Secrets
  • Itʼs Cool to Be Kind
  • When in Doubt, Talk It Out

Smart, safe technology use can enable your kids to drive their own learning and help them function better. 

Welcome to the Be Internet Awesome curriculum, a collaboration between Google, The Net Safety Collaborative, and the Internet Keep Safe Coalition. This resource is part of the Be Internet Awesome program designed to help teach kids the skills they need to be safe and smart online. 

Google partnered with the Committee for Children nonprofit organization to create new social-emotional learning activities to help guide children on their digital journeys. Notably, the Be Internet Awesome program has undergone a thorough evaluation by the University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center.

As a result of the study, this is the first internet safety program proven to positively impact student learning on topics of online safety and digital citizenship. 

Five fundamental topics of digital citizenship and safety form the Internet Code of Awesome:

Share with Care

Digital Footprint and Responsible Communication

Don’t Fall for Fake

Phishing, Scams, and Credible Sources

Secure Your Secrets

Digital Footprint and Responsible Communication

It’s Cool to Be Kind

Combating Negative Online Behavior

When in Doubt, Talk It Out

Questionable Content and Scenarios

The International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE) completed an independent audit of Be Internet Awesome, recognizing the program as a resource that prepares young learners to meet the 2021 ISTE Standards for Students.

ISTE has awarded Be Internet Awesome with the Seal of Alignment for Readiness.

Course Curriculum

To make the most of the Internet, kids need to be prepared to make smart decisions. Be Internet Awesome teaches kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence.

The fundamentals

| The Internet Code of Awesome

Be Internet SMart

Share with Care

Digital Footprint and Responsible Communication

Good (and bad) news travels fast online, and without some forethought, kids can find themselves in tricky situations that have lasting consequences. The solution? Learning how to share with those they know and those they don’t.
Communicate Responsibly

  • Encourage thoughtful sharing by treating online communication like face-to-face communication; if it isn’t right to say, it isn’t right to post. 
  • Create guidelines about what kind of communication is (and isn’t) appropriate. 
  • Keep personal details about family and friends private. 

Be Internet Alert

Don’t Fall for Fake

Phishing, Scams, and Credible Sources

It’s important to help kids become aware that people and situations online aren’t always as they seem. Discerning between what’s real and what’s fake is a very real lesson in online safety.
Know the Signs of a Potential Scam 

  • If statements about “winning” or getting something for “free” feel too good to be true, they most likely are. 
  • Fair exchanges shouldn’t involve giving away any personal information. 
  • Always think critically before acting online and learn to trust your intuition. Be on guard for phishing attempts—efforts to steal information like login or account details by pretending to be a trusted contact in an email, text, or other online communication. 

Be Internet Strong

Secure Your Secrets

Digital Footprint and Responsible Communication

Personal privacy and security are just as important online as they are offline. Safeguarding valuable information helps kids avoid damaging their devices, reputations, and relationships.
Create a Strong Password  

  • Make it memorable, but avoid using personal information like names or birthdays. 
  • Use a mix of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. 
  • R3pl@ce le++ers wit# sYmb0ls & n^mb3rs 1ike Thi$. 

Switch It Up

  • Do not use the same password on multiple sites. 
  • Create a few different variations of the same password for different accounts. 

Be Internet KIND

It’s Cool to Be Kind

Combating Negative Online Behavior

The Internet is a powerful amplifier that can be used to spread positivity or negativity. Kids can take the high road by applying the concept of “treat others as you would like to be treated” to their actions online, creating positive impact for others and disempowering bullying behavior.
Set an Example 

  • Use the power of the Internet to spread positivity. 
  • Stop the spread of harmful or untrue messages by not passing them on to others. 
  • Respect others’ differences. 

Take Action 

  • Block mean-spirited or inappropriate behavior online. 
  • Make an effort to provide support to those being bullied. 
  • Encourage kids to speak up against and report online bullying. 

Be Internet BRAVE

When in Doubt, Talk It Out

Questionable Content and Scenarios

One lesson that applies to any and all encounters of the digital kind: When kids come across something questionable, they should feel comfortable talking to a trusted adult. Adults can support this behavior by fostering open communication at home and in the classroom.
Encourage Internet Brave Behavior

  • Be clear about family or classroom rules and expectations around technology, as well as consequences for inappropriate use. 
  • Keep the dialogue going by checking in frequently and encouraging kids to ask questions. 
  • Extend the conversation to other trusted adults like teachers, coaches, counselors, friends, and relatives. 

Meet your instructor

Jaci Russo is a social media expert and mother of 4. When social media sites first launched in 2008, Jaci was responsible for utilizing them for clients at her advertising agency.  

That led to Brand Buzz, a weekly talk show evaluating each social media app and advising businesses on how to connect with consumers. As her kids became interested in social media, Jaci realized the dangers and began workshops, in schools across the country, to keep kids safe online.

Course Pricing

  • Digital Citizen (5th-6th): Be Internet Awesome
  • $47 USD

    Buy Now

Make it a Bundle

Get both Internet Safety Courses for just $70 (A $97 value)

We need more resources like Jaci Russo’s parent social media class that provide valuable information, authentic strategies, and helpful tips for parents.  Her experience and expertise are perfect to prepare our parents.  

Louise Chargois
Lafayette Parish School System 
I am excited by this class. This presentation was very helpful and informative.  After hearing you on KPEL I was impressed by your knowledge and energy.  

Steve H. 
Hi Jaci - I'm still getting rave reviews of your parent class at our school. Thanks for making me look good! Your handouts are still being circulated and used. If you ever need a reference for public speaking, please pass on my info. I wish you well.

Melanie R
PTO President 
First, let me say thank you for sharing your vast knowledge and experience in such an easy to understand way. I have been feeling outnumbered by my kids and “everyone else has it.” You have given me the resources to get control of the devices. Thanks so much!

Mary K. 
I really enjoyed the class and felt Jaci did a good job keeping me engaged and showing the relevant side of all social media options to protect my kids!

Stephanie M.   
The session gave me the tools to know what to expect and how to respond more aptly.

Angela Lee
East Baton Rouge Parish School System
I know you said in the class that we can’t go back to a simpler time but I still wish we could. At least I know better now how to protect my daughter. Thank you for your gift.

Amy B. 
Your parent social media class could not have come at a better time. It has been such a challenge for us to help parents to understand what we need to do together to help our kids. The online behaviors will improve now that we know how to help them.

Louise Herman
Principal, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School  
Our school family received a gift when you spoke to our parents. We seem to all be on the same page now with how to protect our kids. Thank you.

Matt DeVoll
Principal, Blessed Sacrament School
This course was so beneficial. You can never get enough help in protecting our kids.

Noel Hammett
East Baton Rouge Parish School Board Member 
The class is great!  Monitoring my kids on Social Media initially seemed like an overwhelming task that required time that I didn't have.  The class has clearly shown me how to make the process efficient and focus on its meaningful use. 

Trish L. 
Thank you for traveling to Utah to speak to the parents at our schools. Your knowledge and energy were exactly what we needed. You tackled a number of tough subjects in a very easy way to understand. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with our school community and helping us to help the parents.

Sister Catherine Kamphaus CSC Superintendent of Catholic Schools Diocese of Salt Lake City 
Now, when I hear that “everyone else is doing it,” I have the tools to know how to help my son do it the right way. I don’t like social media any more than before I took this class but at least now I know how to monitor it better. Thank you.

Michael T. 
I am so excited about the information we got with this class. Social Media is and should be a part of our lives (we do some socializing, but there seems to be so much more). I now understand the whole concept of socializing thanks to you. Again thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Marvin H. 
It made it all easy to understand. Jaci's experience made this so relevant.

Kami McDonald
East Baton Rouge Parish School System
I couldn’t agree more with the lessons I learned in your online class about protecting kids on their devices and on social media. Sometimes I feel like I am the only parent out here by myself trying to keep these kids out of trouble. The parents that just want to be friends with her kids are letting them do things online that they will all regret later. Thank you for making me feel like I”m not crazy to be worrying.

Michelle S. 
I am still receiving rave reviews from the parents who attended your social media class.  The information was easy to understand, timely, and not intimidating. Thank you.

Betsy Hunt
Principal J. E. Cosgriff Memorial Catholic School