Teaching online safety in Minecraft with CyberSafe: Home Sweet Hmm
31 Mar 2022
31 Mar 2022
For young learners all over the world, going online is central to their learning, how they connect with friends, and having fun. While technology and gaming can have a positive impact on our lives, it’s crucial that students and their families learn how to be responsible digital citizens—these are important skills they can use throughout the rest of their lives.
We released a new immersive world, CyberSafe: Home Sweet Hmm, for Safer Internet Day to help young people learn to recognize common threats on the Internet, build strategies for protecting themselves and their information, and know where to go if they need help.
Today, we are glad to expand access to this important lesson to all Minecraft players. Cybersafe: Home Sweet Hmm is now available for free on the Minecraft Marketplace.
CyberSafe: Home Sweet Hmm is a fun and creative introduction to online safety for learners ages seven to twelve. It’s available for free to all Minecraft: Education Edition users. The name “Home Sweet Hmm” comes from the familiar sound of Minecraft’s iconic Villagers, who don’t speak but rather grunt “hmm.” In the CyberSafe adventure, this sound also represents the act of pausing to think about how to navigate the Internet safely.
The single-player lesson provides scenarios to help young people make informed decisions by focusing on one guiding principle: stop and think before you click. Players begin the game in their virtual home, where they’ll meet the Trusted Adult, a non-player character (NPC) that acts as a guide through the game. From there, players progress through four pillars of cyber safety, from verifying their contacts’ identities and protecting their passwords to phishing prevention and avoiding scams. CyberSafe features four challenges:
In each of these scenarios, players not only have the chance to make decisions about the right or wrong course of action, but also learn to seek advice from their Trusted Adult. These challenges teach the player how to practice thinking before they click and reinforce that they can rely on the support of a trusted adult—a parent, caregiver, or other adult they trust—to guide them safely through life on the Internet. The challenges also encourage conversations between the player and their trusted adult so they can learn, grow, and play together. Once players have completed the game, they’ll have an opportunity to reflect on what they’ve learned.
We welcome you to have conversations about online safety with your students, family, and community using Cybersafe: Home Sweet Hmm as a fun, engaging learning experience. Here’s how you can access the world and resources: