How can parents help their kids understand what it’s like to live through a pandemic?
The answer, according to social media giant Facebook, is in the form of cute, colorful short animations—GIFs, as they are more popularly known—depicting stories about staying safe both in real life and in the online world.
Through this digital library called GIF Learning Library, Facebook hopes to help young students understand basic concepts of online safety, and help them and their parents cope with the new demands of online learning.
The library was established in partnership with the Child Rights Network and Stairway Foundation, and is available on their Facebook and Instagram pages for free.
At the moment, students can access two GIF books available in Filipino (“Sarado ang Mahiwagang Kaharian” and “Pwede Ba I-Click Ito?”) and English (“Stuck in the Castle” and “Can I Click This?”).
These stories underscore the importance of why children should stay home in the meantime.
In the coming weeks, Facebook said it would “come out with more stories about online safety and activities for parents and kids to bond over, such as GIF coloring books and quizzes.”As noted by psychology and parenting expert Dr. Liane Alampay, research “has veered away from worrying solely about screen time. What matters more is ensuring that kids are consuming high-quality content that helps them learn new things and keeps them socially engaged.
“We recognize that not only are we in this unique situation where parents are finding it challenging to speak with their kids about the COVID-19 (new coronavirus disease) pandemic; the new reality is that kids need to stay home and they’re online more often—whether for education or entertainment,” said Amber Hawkes, Facebook head of safety for Asia-Pacific.