Facebook Partners CBSE to Teach Digital Safety, AR to Indian Students



Facebook has partnered with national-level education board Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to launch a certified curriculum on digital safety and online well-being, as well as augmented reality (AR) for students and educators in India. The new development by the social networking giant is aimed to help young adults and students in the country develop skills to safely navigate the Internet and get prepared for new jobs. Under the partnership, different modules have been provided for secondary school students. Facebook aims to teach at least a total of 40,000 students in total through its fresh move.

The curriculum on digital safety and online well-being covers aspects such as safety, privacy, mental health, and Instagram’s Guide for Building Healthy Digital Habits, Facebook said in a statement. A specific module has been designed to help students become responsible digital users as well as identify and report threats and harassment online and report misinformation. The company is aiming to cover at least 10,000 students through the training, which will be delivered by the Centre for Social Research (CSR).

In addition to the teaching on digital safety and online well-being, Facebook has brought AR as a curriculum to teach the basics of AR and enable students to create new immersive experiences through its software Spark AR Studio. The curriculum will run in multiple phases. In the first phase, the company is aiming to train 10,000 teachers, who will coach 30,000 students in the second phase.

There will be a three-week training that will be conducted in batches. This will cover fundamentals of AR and ways to create new AR experiences using Spark AR Studio. Moreover, Facebook has provided Bengaluru-based SV.CO Digital Learning Platform as the implementation partner for the AR curriculum.

“Incorporating technology and digital safety into school curriculum will ensure students are not only gaining knowledge to succeed in the digital economy but also learning and collaborating in a safe online environment,” said Manoj Ahuja, Chairperson, CBSE, in the statement.

Registrations for teachers seeking the AR training are now open on the CBSE website. Similarly, schools, teachers, and students who want to begin with the digital safety and online well-being curriculum can register on the broad’s site.

The partnership with CBSE is one of the latest efforts by Facebook to expand its presence in India, which is its biggest market with over 32.8 crore users. It is also a cheap test case by the company to enter education space and bolster the Facebook for Education initiative. Having said that, this isn’t the first time when the Menlo Park, California-based company has used India to bring a proof-of-concept (PoC) for global markets.

Back in August 2013, Facebook introduced its Internet.org programme to the country, which was renamed Free Basics in 2015, to offer certain Web services for free. That move, however, rolled back in 2016 due to a massive criticism faced over violating net neutrality.

The latest announcement comes just days after Facebook acquired a 9.99 percent stake in Jio Platforms — through its newly created subsidiary Jaadhu Holdings LLC. The company is for some time taking major steps and bringing updates to limit the circulation of fake news in the country through its platforms including WhatsApp.

In 2020, will WhatsApp get the killer feature that every Indian is waiting for? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.


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