A single set of rules will not help independent young people behave appropriately online. User agreements are only a starting point if we want to help young people grow their confidence. We need to start by discussing ideas with them and their families/whanau and teach digital citizenship concepts as part of our curriculum.

When developing digital citizenship and exploring online safety with young people, it is important to consider:

  • How skills, strategies and values are woven through the curriculum leading to meaningful learning  occurring in context (rather than exploring ideas in isolation)
  • Working in partnership with students, whanau and the community to form a shared understanding about what is on top for young people and how digital citizenship mirrors the school’s values
  • The importance of gathering student voice around the issues and challenges they face online.

Note: These resources are offered as starting points for discussion only. Netsafe does not take responsibility for material on third-party sites. We recommend teachers/parents assess the appropriateness of content before sharing with students.

Videos to stimulate discussion

Netsafe recommends that resources are embedded in safe, positive school approaches and all points of view are explored, based on students’ own experiences.

  • Tagged’(PG): A short film exploring the consequences of posting online content about others. (Office of the Privacy Commissioner, 2011)
  • Don’t Feed the trolls’: Tips on managing cyberbullying (REachOut, Australia, 2011)
  • ‘Exposed’: Video drama dealing with sexting and sharing content (CEOP, 2011) – aimed at 14-16 years
  • Project Rocket TV: This youth-driven organisation has started developing 12 short videos addressing key issues for young people.


  • Sticks and Stones: A podcast and article exploring how a youth-led group of students tackles online bullying (RadioNZ, 2016)
  • Bully Free NZ resources and activity packs


  • OWLS: Wise Words on Privacy:  Resources and activities to weave into curriculum programmes (Netsafe & Office of the Privacy Commissioner, 2015) – up to Year 9


  • So You Got Naked Online:  Helpful advice for young people and families about sexting, with next steps (Netsafe & UK Safer Internet Centre, 2015) – year seven and up
  • Picture This (Drama activity about sexting): A practical educational sexting resource that addresses and questions the sensitive issue of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically — with introductory video (UK Safer Internet Centre, 2013) – intermediate and up

Online safety

  • Staying safe online: Clear, practical steps from leading online companies about how to stay safe — with downloadable guide (Netsafe, 2017)
  • Teaching digital kids: Advice from Facebook:  Guidelines on the safe use of the Facebook social network — includes downloadable guides
  • DQ is a research-backed, animated game that teachers can use in class to take students through a process of developing Digital Intelligence (DQTM). Digital Intelligence (DQTM) is the sum of technical, mental and social competencies essential to digital life. It encompasses the knowledge,  skills, attitudes and values that are needed to thrive as responsible members of the online world and to be confident in handling the challenges and demands of the digital era. Join thousands of other students worldwide in the DQ challenge’.


Netsafe recommends that ‘stand alone’ digital citizenship activities are integrated into local curriculum contexts and inquiry.

  • Stand-alone lesson plans: Secondary: A collection of activities to be woven into teaching on a variety of digital citizenship issues (Office of the Privacy Commissioner, 2015) – note: these are aligned to the Australian curriculum.