Webonauts Internet Academy

Common Sense Media says

Amusing and informative fable teaches Internet safety.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The Webonauts motto is "Observe. Respect. Contribute." These lessons are reinforced throughout the game. The game's overall message is one about how to enjoy the Internet safely.

Positive role models

The Webonauts are entirely noble and respectful. They only want to help others and even show forgiveness toward the game's villain.

Ease of play

Play is handled through simple point-and-click controls. Most of the challenges are won simply through choosing the correct bit of dialogue.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

You can play the game without registering for an account on PBSKids.org, but you need to register if you want to be able to save your game. Registration is free, but will give you access to sites and games for other PBS Kids shows.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Webonauts Internet Academy is a sweet-hearted, creative, and colorful story game that teaches kids good Internet behavior. Through decision points in the story kids will learn about "Netiquette," Internet safety concerns, good vs bad information sources, and so on. While it's not necessary to have a PBSKids.org account in order to play, you will need to register if you want to be able to save your game. Registration is free, but the game doesn't take all that long to finish, so those reluctant to register might be willing to give the game a try without saving.

What kids can learn

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • thinking critically

Responsibility & Ethics

  • following codes of conduct
  • making wise decisions
  • respect for others

Tech Skills

  • evaluating media messages

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

A marvelous little allegory, with some great Web-safety and Netiquette lessons cleverly disguised as plot points in a cutesy science-fiction story.

Learning Approach

Kids can learn how to safely and properly handle themselves online. By working through the story of a new recruit to the Webonauts Internet Academy, kids encounter situations that expose them to "Netiquette," Internet safety concerns, and so on.

Support

By registering for a free account on the site, you can save your game (otherwise, you'd have to play through the whole story in one sitting).

What kids can learn

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • thinking critically

Responsibility & Ethics

  • following codes of conduct
  • making wise decisions
  • respect for others

Tech Skills

  • evaluating media messages

Kids can learn how to safely and properly handle themselves online. By working through the story of a new recruit to the Webonauts Internet Academy, kids encounter situations that expose them to "Netiquette," Internet safety concerns, good and bad information sources, and so on. They discover how to protect passwords, deal with online bullies, and respect intellectual property rights. Kids can build digital citizenship skills for life with this online game.

This Learning Rating review was written by Christopher Healy

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

When you join the Webonauts Internet Academy, you enter an elite interstellar outfit tasked with keeping peace among the planets, which is accomplished by offering wise advice to troubled aliens. But the Webonauts Academy is really a metaphor for the Internet, and all the events in the story represent different potentially problematic situations kids may encounter online. The plot revolves around a villain, Static, who exhibits consistently bad Internet behavior and generally causes trouble. He spreads rumors, steals passwords, and even co-opts other people's intellectual property (in this case, a cookie recipe). The player must navigate each of these tricky situations through dialogue choices.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Webonauts Internet Academy is a marvelous little allegory. There are some great Web-safety and Netiquette lessons here, all cleverly disguised as plot points in a cutesy science-fiction story. If anything, parents may need to connect the dots for younger kids, explaining to them exactly how the situations in the story relate to real issues that can be encountered on the Web. Some lessons, like never giving out your password and not making profiles public, are simple to see, but a few are more abstract. Overall, though, there are some really great and important lessons to be learned here. And the story is fun. There's a nice bit of customization available, too, as kids can change their costumes and helmets as often as they want. The game is a relatively short one, but that's all the better for players who don't want to have to register on the site just so they can save their games.

Online interaction: The game is only available on the PBSKids.org website. By registering for a free account on the site, you can save your game (otherwise, you'd have to play through the whole story in one sitting). The PBSKids.org site is a generally fun, safe, and educational Web environment.

Families can talk about...

  • What lessons does the game teach you about staying safe during your Internet use? How can you apply these lessons to your web-surfing outside of the game?

  • Static, the villain of the game, plays the part of an Internet troll -- exhibiting awful Internet behavior. Have you ever encountered a person who behaved badly on the Internet in real life? How did you deal with this person? What does the game teach you about dealing with bad-mannered Internet trolls.

Game details

Platforms:Windows, Mac
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Available online?Not available online
Developer:PBS Kids Go
Release date:September 25, 2010
Genre:Educational
ESRB rating:NR for (Not Applicable) (Mac, Windows)

This review of Webonauts Internet Academy was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass