SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Roblox, a global online platform bringing more than 150 million people together through play, announced today the launch of its free curriculum on Digital Civility to foster positive, safe, and productive online experiences and discussions among students. The curriculum also includes a new Roblox game called Digital Safety Scavenger Hunt, which teaches users how to spot unreliable information and stay safe online. Both resources are designed to be used in conjunction and are meant to engage kids and teens who are going back to online learning this fall.
The curriculum features six sessions (up to 20 hours of content), allowing educators to engage students in ongoing conversations to help develop long-term safety and civility skills. Developed jointly by the Roblox Education team in collaboration with Laura Higgins, an expert with over 20 years in online safety and civility who leads Roblox’s Digital Civility Initiative, this new course is designed to better serve the needs of educators who can freely access Roblox’s ISTE-certified curriculum to support virtual learning during this ever-changing time.
“We’ve been hearing from our educator community that it’s simply not enough to have occasional conversations about safety and digital civility and that they’d greatly benefit from a structured curriculum and project-based learning as the new school year begins and kids are spending more and more time learning and interacting with one another online,” said Laura Higgins, Director of Community Safety and Digital Civility at Roblox. “The curriculum launching today is designed to provide both educators and students with a self-paced, topic-specific narrative that will help build a generation of resilient digital citizens and ensure kids and teens have positive and safe online experiences.”
The Digital Civility curriculum intertwines safety and civility lessons with STEM skills in a clever way. Students are asked to create their own games, and as they collaborate and play, they will also have discussions on digital civility and safety topics such as:
- What’s good digital civility and behavior, and how to report bad behavior across all digital platforms;
- Strategies for keeping personal information private, recognizing potential scams and safety vulnerabilities, and understanding when to report suspicious activity;
- Understanding the impact of online behavior on themselves and others, and how they can contribute to fostering positive in-game communities;
- How to recognize online bullying or negative behavior and take action to address it.
“I’ve used the Roblox curriculum with my students well before distance learning was required and have seen first-hand how they benefit from combining learning and play on their favorite platform. While they learn game design and coding, they also acquire valuable social skills and create long-lasting friendships,” said Bianca Rivera, Librarian at Ruth C. Kinney Elementary in New York. “Now more than ever, it’s important for these kids to feel connected to their peers, and Roblox’s offerings facilitate that.”
The Digital Safety Scavenger Hunt game allows educators to take advantage of Roblox’s free private servers feature, which lets them create invite-only game instances that can only be accessed by their students. The game has a variety of activities that incorporate digital civility in an engaging way including:
- Interacting with in-game characters where users must use clues to determine if chatting with those characters is safe or not. These characters will do things like try to bait users with the promise of free in-game money (Robux), or trick them into getting account information;
- Learning clues to spot what information is reliable or not in a realistic way. Students can share tips via in-game chat and discuss how to spot unreliable information.
Over the past year, Roblox has reached more than one million students worldwide through its education initiatives including camps, coding challenges, and school curriculum resources. In March 2020, Roblox released educational tools through the Teaching Remotely Initiative to aid in remote teaching and learning. In June 2020, Roblox launched its semi-annual coding challenge “Build It, Play It,” (formerly known as the “Creator Challenge”), which was the company’s most successful event to date with over 7 million game visits and more than 210,000 games published. With today’s announcement, the company continues to deliver resources to students and teachers designed to complement continued remote learning or hybrid learning models this fall.
Roblox’s mission is to bring the world together through play. Every month, more than 150 million people around the world have fun with friends as they explore millions of immersive digital experiences. All of these experiences are built by the Roblox community, made up of over two million creators. We believe in building a safe, civil, and diverse community—one that inspires and fosters creativity and positive relationships between people around the world. For more information, please visit corp.roblox.com.