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NZ launches 'Cybercitizenship Pathway'

NetSafe - The Internet Safety Group
Media Release
February 12, 2008

Safer Internet Day sees NZ launch 'Cybercitizenship Pathway'

Today is International Safer Internet Day and NetSafe has marked the occasion by launching the 'Cybercitizenship Pathway' - a pioneering initiative to help teachers integrate online safety and security education into their classroom programmes.

NetSafe receives many queries from teachers who recognise that education about 'how to use ICT' needs to go hand-in-hand with education about 'how to safely and ethically use ICT' in order to help cultivate young cybercitizens - people who act ethically and responsibly online.

That's why NetSafe has created the Cybercitizenship Pathway, a guide for teachers to help them integrate online safety and security education into their classroom programmes. It also provides suggested activities across a range of curriculum areas, and is New Zealand's first cybersafety programme to work-in with national curricula from early childhood through primary and high school levels.

Cybersafety organisations around the world have begun to acknowledge that giving students a 'list of computer rules' is not the most effective way to educate for behaviour change.

Richard Beach is NetSafe's School Sector Manager and author of the 'Cybercitizenship Pathway'. He says that "In order to ensure the safety and security of everyone in schools and for the future, users must understand the impact and potential of ICT use, apply sound personal safety strategies, and understand, follow and promote cybersafety guidelines which support community safety and wellbeing. International research suggests that the most effective way to teach positive cybercitizenship is by integrating learning opportunities across the curriculum in developmentally appropriate ways."

The Pathway is freely available in PDF format from www.netsafe.org.nz and will evolve over the next month into a fully interactive online resource. The Cybercitizenship Pathway will link in with resources from around the world, so that teachers can choose which best suits the learning activity and students' developmental level.

"Those going through schools now will soon be voting, transacting business and connecting online as adults - many are already immersed in their own online social environments. By using the Pathway teachers can bring cybercitizenship education to life," says Richard.

ENDS

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