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Students To Become Successful Digital Citizens at Pirongia School


 Goal 1:

In 2011 Pirongia School had begun to gather some evidence about what the children’s views were on Digital Citizenship. Small groups of children from years 4 – 8 were surveyed. The results indicated that the students did not know what a Digital Citizen was, and what it meant to be a Digital Citizen. As a staff we had some dialogue surrounding cyber safety and the need to understand the student’s online behaviours. Further dialogue at staff meetings in 2012 highlighted cyber safety issues and concerns like facebook for under 13’s, social network safety for the students and ourselves, parental supervision at home, sharing the same cyber safety messages between school and home. We agreed that this was an area of importance for our learners, us and our community. In Term 1 2012 we created surveys for parents, staff and students about understandings around digital citizenship. We also wanted to know how many of our students had internet access at home and if they were supervised, had rules etc. The results indicate that 89% have access at home and 85% were not supervised, 53% of students had no rules at home.

We reflected that 
1, We need to increase our confidence to teach Digital Citizenship and 2, Cyber Safety and online
Values (netiquette) are priorities for our 21st Century Learners. From the results we also reflected on the following points: To build our home-school partnerships about E Learning and educate parents of the importance of cyber safety, our key question being, “ What are the tools the parents need to have to keep their child safe”? We also need to ensure that there are consistencies with internet behaviours between home and school for the students.
As teachers we recognise the need for our own understanding to be developed and to have more specific PD to be included regularly in staff meetings. To use the E Learning Planning Framework as a starting point then develop our own so Digital Citizenship learning is scaffolded and consistent from class to class, year to year. The learning also needs to be transparent within our community. Our internet user agreements have been amended and children/ parents must sign these annually.

We will look at gathering student voice as evidence of the impact of our teaching/learning in Term 4 by repeating parts of the survey. In particular what students know about cyber safety and asking the teachers if they felt their confidence had improved. ICT leaders will look at developing specific professional development to build teaching capacity and promote the parent survey in the school newsletter. To date we have only had 3 responses.

In conclusion, the surveys are really valuable. The results have been very informative and mean that we can teach to our students needs and be specific about our next learning steps. Surveying students, parents and staff has given us a holistic picture of how the Cyber Safety fits together and our need to really engage our community. There are disparities between cyber safety understandings between home and school. The student responses about the internet rules raised the question “How deeply do the students understand the rules? What does inappropriate really mean”? The response to our parent survey tells us that we need to be more proactive in encouraging it to be completed. We will continue to have formal and informal on going dialogue as the year progresses starting with a community consultation meeting in week 5.


  • Nigelf

    An interesting presentation of what you're doing with digital citizenship. I'm interested in your observed "disparities between cyber-safety understandings between home and school". What are the disparities? My guess is that your school is stricter on cyber-safety than homes are. I'm also wondering whether this is actually a "disparity of understaning" on the part of parents, who may be very aware of cybersafety issues, or whether it is simply the' fact' that schools are responsible to parents for cyber-safety, but parents are not responsible to schools. Is itschool  accountability that is actually the difference?

    I'm keen to see how your T4 survey goes.