Backed by research and
respected companies, a new platform aims to show the benefits of going online.
The site, called A Platform
for Good (PfG), will launch in September with a mission to help shift the
conversation away from the negative focus that so often appears in the media
about youth online experience to a conversation that highlights the positive
opportunities the internet has to offer. Through this approach, the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) aims to
bridge the generational digital divide by increasing adult comfort with
technology and understanding of the opportunities it offers.
By leveraging existing social media platforms that young people and their
parents already use, A Platform for Good will have widespread appeal for a
number of age groups, FOSI believes. PfG will provide the following:
- Kids and teens will access incentive-based,
interactive activities that teach them about online safety issues in a
fun, engaging way. PfG
will also foster participation and collaboration with youth.
- Parents will receive conversation starters and
tips via text and social networking sites to encourage families to discuss
current events and turning recent news into learning experiences.
- Teachers will find new instructional
opportunities, including interesting videos and web-based activities to
inspire their students.
“A Platform for Good is an opportunity to
provide people with a positive message about online safety education”, said Kim
Sanchez, chair of FOSI’s board of directors and a director of privacy and
online safety at Microsoft, in a statement.
According to FOSI, PfG is not
looking to replace the many online safety programs already available in schools,
but, rather, to add a new layer to the conversation by focusing on the research
that focuses on teens and their online experiences and “promoting incredible
stories of technology being used ‘for good’; and work to spur dialogue between
parents, teacher, and youth about what it means to be a responsible digital
citizen in our ever-connected world,” explained Nancy Gifford (special projects coordinator for the Family Online
Safety Institute - FOSI).