Defining Digital Citizenship

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Being a good digital citizen is the abilty for an individual to extend and apply the values, expectations and community norms of society to their digital and online environments.  Without respect for these key components of a society, an individual cannot truly realize their roles and responsbilities as a digital citizen. NetSafe Digital Citizenship Definition: contributes and actively promotes the values of digital citizenship

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Learning Outcomes:
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of their community norms and school/classroom values and expectations.
  • Students will be able to identify their roles, responsibilites, privileges & duties at school, home and in an online environment.
  • Students will create their own definition of Digital Citizenship and integrate it into their classroom/group constitution.


Citizenship in New Zealand

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Answer these questions:
  • What is citizenship in New Zealand?
  • What does it mean to be recognized as a citizen?  
  • Can your citizenship be taken away from you?  Why?

Create a document with two columns, as below.  Brainstorm the 'rights' with a group and ask students to individually respond to the corresponding 'responsibilities'.


To safely cross the street

To follow the signs indicating where the pedestrian marked areas are located.


A new student has arrived at your school.  Your job is to explain the school rules/norms/expectations in a friendly screencast.  You only have 45 seconds.


How do your rights as a digital citizen change as you get older?  Why is '13' the 'magic number' for accessing many online environments.


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Using the Netsafe definition below, create a 30 second commercial demonstrating at least THREE of the following points.  What does being a digital citizen really look and sound like?

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A digital citizen:
  • is a confident and capable user of ICT
  • uses technologies to participate in educational, cultural, and economic activities
    • uses and develops critical thinking skills in cyberspace
  • is literate in the language, symbols, and texts of digital technologies
  • is aware of ICT challenges and can manage them effectively
  • uses ICT to relate to others in positive, meaningful ways
  • demonstrates honesty and integrity and ethical behaviour in their use of ICT
  • respects the concepts of privacy and freedom of speech in a digital world
  • contributes and actively promotes the values of digital citizenship [1]


How do you effectively model Digital Citizenship at your school?

Is there a way that younger students can learn from older, more experienced students? 

How do you support group leadership programmes to create mindful digital citizens when so much online interaction takes place when you're alone?


Andrew Cowie