12 February 2021
Kids are online more than ever before — research by Qustodio indicates that screen time for UK children aged four to 15 was up more than 100% in January 2021 compared to January 2020. Underscoring that time online needs to be safe as well as fun, LEGO has launched a playful interactive learning tool to teach children digital empathy skills.
In a series of short videos, LEGO's Captain Safety presents situations a child is likely to come across, from seeing someone else being bullied, to witnessing gossip or even acting like a bully themselves. In each scenario, the viewer is presented with two ways they could act. It's a choose-your-own-adventure that shows how empathic behavior can disarm the 'meanies'.
LEGO's quiz is based on the DQ Institute's framework for digital citizenship, of which digital empathy is a core skill, helping people understand how their online communication impacts others. The initiative isn't LEGO's first foray into helping children navigate digital dilemmas; in November 2020, the brand launched a free activity pack to help parents talk to children about cyberbullying.
Kids are almost guaranteed to face uncomfortable situations online, and rehearsing how to respond will help keep them and others safe. Child-focused brands can (and should!) provide them with ways to build and practice those skills. Empower the empathy heroes!