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Teaching Digital Citizenship and Cyber-safety to Students

Year Level - Primary

Cluster Type - 2010-2012 Traditional ICTPD Cluster

Context - Progress towards National Goal 1

National Goal

Students to become successful digital citizens

Cluster Goals

  1. Students will be capable users of ICTs and will be aware of safe practices when using the Internet and digital resources.
  2.  Students will have opportunities to connect, collaborate and create.

The summary is about the various ways that schools have introduced the concept of digital citizenship so far. There is a variety in the level of adoption from whole school implementation of Hector's World to informal discussion in class programmes as it arises.
Digital citizenship and cyber-safety for students is paramount in our society now and is especially relevant as these students move on and become part of the adult digital world where the values of digital citizenship and cyber-safety are even more important as they interact with others across the globe.

What did we do?

  • We encouraged all cluster schools, through the Lead Teacher Workshops and follow ups in schools, to discuss, develop, explore and practice the ideas behind digital citizenship and safety. Most schools have a link on their websites.
  • Each school has made reference to Goal 1 and how they are going to address it in their individual Action Plans for 2011.(See External Links)
  • We have also established a group of Digikidz students who represent all schools to connect, collaborate and create in an online learning environment in order to teach digital citizenship and safety practices to their peers and teachers back in their own schools.See examples below:image
  1. Te Mata School - Young Leaders blog
  2. Mahora Room 8 Blogspot   
  • Evidence of follow up from Digikidz sessions - two students went back to school and taught a group of younger students (Middle School Tech Team) how to use a voicethread sensible and responsibly.
  • See Magpie Wiki for student goals. See Evidence page for student work
  • Lead Teachers have participated in workshops where we have outlined the use of Hector's World. (This was not so effective for Mac schools as the Hector animation can not be downloaded). However the ideas that are presented in the Hector's World programme do offer appropriate content to use in the classroom for whole class teaching. Lead Teachers also explored the LGP site and The Grid for resources which could be used at appropriate levels within each school.
  • Lead Teachers are working on a Digital Citizen Rubric (work in progress) to be used by students so that they can self assess their progress towards becoming successful digital citizens.
  • Mayfair School is developing a e-learning wiki that includes a variety of resources for different year levels addressing cybersafety and digital citizenship.

What Happened?

  • In one school (Havelock Primary), it was an expectation of all teachers that they would implement the Hector's World programme in their classroom in Term 1. All classes apart from three implemented the programme successfully. The Lead Teachers conducted interviews with randomly selected children at the completion of the programme to gauge the effectiveness. Students were asked questions to ascertain their understanding of digital citizenship and cybersafety. eg.What is Hectors world / Cyber Pigs? / What does Cyber Safety mean? / What do you know about sharing information on the internet? / What did you learn from the cyber safety programme?
  • Students and teachers were enthusiastically using their blogs and wikis in a variety of ways to support learning and engage students in meaningful online environments in order to collaborate, connect and create. See Lead Teacher e-portfolio page for more examples. However this came to an abrupt halt when concerns about the security of blogs and wikis were raised by some parents who were very upset about their children's images and names being on the Internet. This led to a school wide review of the Internet Policy. New wiki and blog guidelines have been established as a result of this and the students of the concerned parents are no longer uploading any digital objects to the class blog/wiki. A very small minority has not hindered the learning opportunities of the rest of the school.
  • A planned Parent Information Evening regarding the Digital citizenship and Cyber-safety for Term 1 has been postponed to early Term 2.
  • A Whole Cluster event took place at the end of Term 1 - Dorothy Burt was the keynote speaker. Her keynote title Learn, Create,Share : Digital Age Learners in Action: made reference to digital citizenship issues throughout the presentation. Some thought provoking questions were asked of teachers as they discussed these issues with colleagues during the keynote. This was a good way of reiterating the importance of digital citizenship for each school. The approach and implementation of this topic will be addressed by the facilitators with Lead Teachers and Principals at their school visit.

Lead Teacher Feedback from the event: "All staff members spoken to found the keynote by Dorothy Burt to be informative and relevant.  Based on the interviews we conducted, staff found her keynote a timely reminder that we are educating a very digital generation of children and it is our responsibility as educators, to provide e-learning opportunities for them in the classroom. We should reflect the digital society in our learning environment! Thank you Leigh and Sandy for organising this opportunity"             

What Did We Learn?

  • That all the children interviewed had a good understanding of simple procedures about keeping safe in an online environment, the main response to the question about ‘what have you learnt from the cybersafety programme?' was along the lines of not giving out personal information on the Internet.  "To not share your personal information and to just limit the things you say on the internet. The tricks that advertisers use to get your attention."  "I learnt more about what companies try to do with your information and how they try and get you to buy things they don't need. They trick young kids to give information about themselves and their parents." "dont give away personal details." See Lead Teacher e-portfolio page for more examples.
  • Parent education is paramount, as the experience from Term 1 proved to us. Careful thought and preparation for the Parent Information Evening will be needed.

Next Steps for Havelock North:

  • We need to follow up with the three classes that have not implemented the Hector's World programme.
  • Start discussions at Staff and Team meetings about incorporating ongoing education about digital citizenship and cyber-safety through Inquiry topics.
  • Parent Information Evening early Term 2

Next Steps for Cluster

  • Other Schools have plans to implement Digital Citizenship and Cybersafety in Term 2
  • Mahora School - See Mahora Learning Centre Milestone Evidence
  • Frimley school have taken a more integrated approach to implementing Digital citizenship through class programmes as issues arise in context. See example Room 14 Wallwisher http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/frimley14
  • Frimley also have links on their ICT page to Hectors World and The Grid for teachers to access if they wish to use these resources.
  • Parkvale - have upgraded all of their Internet user policies (each parent family has signed an Internet agreement and rules of digital citizenship have been set within this policy(based on Netsafe policy). Hectors World was implemented in Term 3 of 2010 and will be revised again later this year.
  • Te Mata - See Action Plan reference for Term 2 & 3 below in files.
  • As a Lead Teacher group, we need to continue working on the development of the Digital Citizenship Rubric (it is a work in progress) as not all Lead Teachers agree with its rationale.
  • All schools are continuing to work on ‘students having opportunities to connect, collaborate and create' through their websites, blogs and wikis. See Parkvale School Room 16 / Room 18  for examples. The future focus will be on encouraging appropriate commenting (feedback and feed forward) following Dorothy's recommendation of teaching the students and parents about making comments that are ‘kind, thoughtful and helpful
  • We are planning to establish individual blogs for our digikidz, so that they can continue to practice digital citizenship in an authentic context.
  • A continued emphasis at Digikidz Workshops about Digital Citizenship/Cybersafety and e-Learning integration opportunities (caught not taught) - see planning for Digikidz session.