Kids love surfing the web and playing games online, but sometimes parents don’t realize that the Internet is full of trolls and bullies waiting to strike.
The LEGO Group is partnering with the DQ Institute — an organization that creates educational programs for Internet safety — to help teach kids about digital empathy and why it’s important to be aware of their own and other people’s feelings in a virtual world. The LEGO Group has launched an interactive and safe learning experience on lego.com/kids, based on the “digital intelligence” framework created by the DQ Institute.
The interactive experience uses LEGO minifigures to represent a series of dilemmas that kids may face online, such as cyberbullying scenarios, online trolls, and the spreading of misinformation. Kids can respond and react to the situations to earn a status as an “online empathy hero,” while growing their own emotional intelligence and learning how to be a responsible digital citizen.
The activities feature four LEGO heroes that help reinforce digital empathy skills. Sir Hug A Lot is a character that represents online empathy, Butterclops embodies online self-awareness, AeroVision is designed to help kids acknowledge the perspectives of other people, and Admiral Highfive teaches kids about being kind online. Research from the DQ Institute shows that kids with high digital intelligence scores are less likely to get involved with cyberbullying or face other cyber risks.
This is not the first time The LEGO Group has addressed cyberbulling and online safety. The company also participated in several initiatives last year, including the Small Builds for Big Conversations series and the “Build & Talk” activity guide.