What is the first step towards developing digital citizenship? To begin students need to have digital literacy. That is the ability to effectively participate using a range of digital technologies. Part of this means critiquing and evaluating information. This requires both technical and social skills that will help them be successful and safe. The significant changes in technology have created challenges for educational institutions to provide an environment where students feel confident and safe.
This year with the commitment to ultra-fast broadband to all New Zealand, schools and greater connect ability it is important not just to have the policies and procedures in place but also strong education programmes that build cyber safety skills and knowledge that enable students to make the most of all learning opportunities while keeping themselves safe.
It is important to work with the community and parents to develop shared understandings and resources that will help guide students to make confident ethical decisions. The ability of children to navigate their cyber world can often be well beyond parents. Therefore on going staff and student education programmes are fundamental to keep pace with changing technology use in education establishments. For students it is to develop the skills and knowledge needed to meet the challenges of traversing cyberspace and for educators to keep pace with the ways to support them.