Tobe is a virtual keyboard that helps prevent offensive online discourse among elementary school-age children. The keyboard works on every social media and recognizes offensive and positive words that are written by the child, in real time. The keyboard gives feedback to the child and allows him to change or delete the message, just before sending. At first, as part of an educational activity with the teacher, the children create a dictionary of positive words they would like to receive and a dictionary of offensive words they would like to avoid. The database created by the children is linked to the app and Tobe’s character will appear on each child’s keyboard. While writing a positive message, Tobe will strengthen the child and while writing an offensive word, Tobe will alert and suggest not to send it. If the child sends the message, Tobe will become sad.

The purpose of the character and the feedback is to evoke empathy in the child and allow him to regret a moment before sending the message. Over time the app learns about more offensive words and updates the class dictionary automatically. The teacher can also receive anonymous data about the words that are repeated or used. As a result, she can prepare a lesson on the subject or class discussion.

How does it work?

The words that the children will write in the educational activity will be added to the Airtable collaborative database. Our keyboard, that replaces the device’s default keyboard, will recognize the input written through it on different social media, and compare it to the words in the database. When there is a match between a word written by the user and a word that is in the vocabulary, the user will get positive or negative feedback depending on the word.