The values and competencies of digital citizenship and internet safety directly reference the NZ curriculum. A mix of formal classroom programmes and 'teachable moments' offers excellent opportunities to support students' online safety and digital citizenship. NetSafe's myLGP website (www.mylgp.org.nz) provides a range of resources to support educators to model internet safety and digital citizenship and engage learners with classroom programmes.
As mentioned in Step 2, internet safety and digital citizenship, requires a secure protection layer, as well as capacity building to address the online safety and citizenship challenges that protection layers cannot prevent. Direct classroom activity, in the form of programmes or 'teachable moments', provides an excellent opportunity to provide this capacity building.
The NetSafe Learn:Guide:Protect Digital Citizenry programme aims to create an adaptive student-centered learning pathway from a highly protected environment through to a self managing state, whilst minimising the impact of any negative incidents online. This framework supports the idea that each stage of a student's journey prepares them for, and connects well, with the next stage.
The three components (Protection, Guidance, and Learned capability) combine at varying levels to create stages corresponding to a learner's developmental level.
When children enter school, they will have limited experience and few skills and knowledge to effectively and safely manage their online activities without guidance from adults and the aid of protective mechanisms that limit access to specific content. The combination of these components can shift, however, over time to recognise and build on growing learner capability. The objective of a successful digital citizenship programme is to develop school leavers who are capable of managing their own online safety.
The myLGP website provides a range of resources within the 'learn layer' to support educator's classroom-programme needs, while the 'guidance layer' provides educators with the knowledge to model internet safety and digital citizenship effectively and make the most of relevant teachable moments.
When planning classroom programmes try to consider the following:
- Cultivate online safety and digital citizenship at school in the course of authentic, contextual learning in the classroom.
- Programme design should reflect that the components of an individuals "safety" changes over time
- Classroom programmes must reflect a progression of skills at the appropriate age for students.
- Develop programmes which reflect students needs, support their use of technology both in a learning context and beyond, are ongoing and cross curricular.
- Promote the use of ICT in the classroom to maximise 'teachable moments' for internet safety and digital citizenship and reward educators who effectively promote online safety and digital citizenship in their classroom practice.