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MiSK and Google want Saudi youth to be digitally aware

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Will start with schools in Riyadh

The Prince Mohamed bin Salman Foundation (MiSK) and Google have launched an initiative to promote the best practices and knowledge to Saudi youth on how to act smartly and safely online.

Will start with schools in Riyadh

The Prince Mohamed bin Salman Foundation (MiSK) and Google have launched an initiative to promote the best practices and knowledge to Saudi youth on how to act smartly and safely online.

With the Saudi Ministry of Education’s support, We Are All Online will see Google-trained staff from MiSK lead student assemblies in 50 public and private middle schools in Riyadh during the second academic semester. The program leaders will teach students how to act responsibly and safely online using content developed and localized by Google for Saudi schools. We Are All Online will then expand to five other provinces by the beginning of the next academic year.

jcrop-previewSpeaking at the program’s launch in Riyadh, Minister of Education Ahmed Al Eissa reiterated the importance of information security especially among today’s youth and the education system’s role in spreading digital awareness.

The Minister also called upon the students who attended the launch to engage with the program’s trainers and content to make sure they get the best of the initiative. He also expressed his optimism for Kulluna Online.

Commenting about the launch, MiSk Secretary General Badr bin Mohamed Al Asaker said: “Given the notable growth of usage of the digital world whether through regular browsing or instant messaging applications, it was necessary that we find a creative initiative to spread awareness on digital safety. Kulluna Online was the product of MiSK’s belief that the Internet has become one of the most important languages of our time and a necessary tool for development. The program aims to spread digital awareness and to keep up with the latest global practices which ensure safe Internet browsing.”

“We are excited to launch the We Are All Online National Digital Awareness Program here in Saudi Arabia. With our partners at MiSK and the Ministry of Education, we want to equip young Saudis with the best practices and knowledge on how to get the best of the web while acting responsibly and safely online. These assemblies will leave a lasting impact on students and will lead to an even better and safer online community in Saudi Arabia,” Google Head of Government Relations and Public Policy for the Gulf Sam Blatteis said.

jcrop-previewDeputy Minister of Education Dr. Mohamed Attia Alharthi said that “this program reflects the implementation of the 2030 vision, utilizing the relationship between the government and nonprofit sectors by launching this engaging program executed in cooperation with Google.”

“This program targets students in both primary and secondary schools and will include hour-long assemblies in each school. It will be executed over four academic semester and we expect that 10,000 students across 50 schools will benefit from the first phase of Kulluna Online,” he added.

Drawing from everyday-situations and questions young children face online, the content of the assemblies is based on a gamified experience that would help popularize the memorable key insights from the program.

The key pillars of We Are All Online include the following:

-Post wisely: The assembly will encourage students to think thoroughly before sharing something online.

-Stay secure: Students will learn how to keep their belongings online ( pictures, passwords, documents, etc.) secure.

-Know your settings: Teachers will walk students through how to navigate and adjust their settings to keep their devices and accounts secure.

-How to avoid fraud and identity theft: The program will help students become more critical of what they see on the web and to seek advice from parents and students.

-Importance of being positive online: The program aims to promote a positive online community where students can feel safe. 

In addition to the school assemblies, the program will have its own website where all the material will be available online for anyone to view in Saudi Arabia and beyond.

Google launched similar programs around the world in recent years such as Internet Legends in the UK and the digital literacy school assembly program in the US. We Are All Online has the potential to reach one million middle school students and aims to have a large-scale impact that would elevate students’ awareness on how to stay safe and smart online. 

Anil George
Avid follower of all things tech. In between his quest for the ultimate gizmo, Anil fiddles with light meters, collects rare books and feeds his fetish for Jap horror movies. As Managing Editor of T3 Middle East for the GCC, Anil oversees content direction across print and digital. He was a CES 2017 Innovation Awards Judge, reprising his role as an Innovation Awards Judge at CES 2015 and 2016. Reach him at: editor@t3me.com.
@anildotgeorge