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Digital Citizenship

The NZ curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007) recognises and promotes the development of certain key competencies. These competencies are required for people to “…develop, to live and learn today and in the future”.

The New Zealand Curriculum identifies five key competencies:

  • thinking
  • using language, symbols, and texts
  • managing self
  • relating to others
  • participating and contributing

People use these competencies to live, learn, work, and contribute as active members of their communities. More complex than skills, the competencies draw also on knowledge, attitudes, and values in ways that lead to action. They are not separate or stand-alone. They are the key to learning in every learning area.

Extract from the New Zealand curriculum (2007)

Drawing from the Key Competencies and Values in the NZ Curriculum and the growing body of research knowledge, NetSafe has produced this definition of a New Zealand 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 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 as defined here

The cornerstone for Digital Citizenship is the concept of Digital Literacy. Broadly, digital literacy is being able to understand and fully participate in the digital world. It is the combination of technical and social skills that enable a person to be successful and safe in the information age.

Digital Citizenship in New Zealand Schools. NetSafe’s model for defining digital citizenship recognises the importance of cybersafety skills, digital literacy and the Values & Key Competencies of the National Curriculum when building a model for supporting digital citizenship development in schools

Like traditional literacy and numeracy which provide people with the skills to participate in the workforce, digital literacy is increasingly required to provide the skills and knowledge to participate in the information age. With the continued rise and promotion of commerce, learning, and e-government online, NetSafe believes these skills, and their safe and responsible use, will become critical for a very large proportion of citizens and our economy.