Ask the Connected Learning Advisory

Issue: Volume 94, Number 16

Posted: 7 September 2015
Reference #: 1H9cuY

The Ministry of Education’s Connected Learning Advisory is committed to supporting schools and clusters as they plan for, manage and use digital technologies for modern learning. This month we look at how the advisory is supporting schools in making decisions around social media use and digital citizenship.

Digital citizenship considerations when integrating digital technologies with learning

Wherever technologies are used, especially tools that connect to the web, we must ensure that we help learners develop digital citizenship capabilities.

Digital citizenship is a broad and evolving concept. It reflects a number of different behaviours and attitudes, which include appropriate and effective ways of interacting with people and/or information through digital technologies. It is built on – and guided by – a set of values and principles developed by the wider communities in which we work and play. Digital citizenship informs the way all members of the school community use digital technologies to effectively participate, contribute, and be critically reflective. The Connected Learning Advisory works alongside NetSafe and uses their definition of digital citizenship(external link), which is based on the New Zealand Curriculum key competencies and values.

“There is a growing emphasis on promoting safe and responsible behaviours and ways of managing the inevitable challenges online. The focus needs to be on increasing learner preparedness, while reducing external protection over time,” says NetSafe.

For example, what does honesty, integrity and ethical behaviour look like at your school? That might include how intellectual property is treated, how learners and staff manage themselves in social media – and even how we know when it is appropriate to close the laptop and discuss issues face to face.

Schools might consider the following when integrating digital technologies with learning:
What opportunities are there to explore digital citizenship for your whole school community?

How are your school values reflected online and/or with digital technologies?

How have you identified ways to support your staff and students to be confident and capable with digital technologies?

What might it look like if staff and students are demonstrating digital citizenship behaviours?

How have you identified and modeled the use of appropriate research tools and resources to support critical thinking?

Where you might start

The Digital Citizenship(external link) page on the Enabling e-Learning website has a number of discussion starters for school leaders and teachers, as well as a range of other resources to explore. The NetSafe Kit for Schools(external link) is also a useful starting point for schools.

Exploring digital citizenship is an excellent opportunity to review your school values as a whole school community, and ensure they are reflected in the appropriate use of digital technologies. The role of teachers and school leaders is to support students to understand what makes a responsible digital citizen and what that looks like in a variety of situations. Instead of relying on a set of rules, guidelines need to be developed with students so they are self-managing, and able to participate and contribute to online environments responsibly and appropriately.

Contact the Connected Learning Advisory

If you have a query about integrating technology with teaching and learning, or you want to suggest a topic for this column, contact the Connected Learning Advisory on:
Phone: 0800 700 400
Online forms: Tearawhitiki(external link) or Connected learning(external link)
NetSafe(external link) can also be contacted online.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 8:03 am, 7 September 2015

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