Topic outline

  • General

    • The Digital Citizenship Course

      What is digital citizenship? Why do I need to take this course?

      We rely on technology more and more in our society for our basic everyday functions, but we seldom ask ourselves how this affects our lives. This course will examine the six key areas that affect your role as a student in our school and prepare you for the technically diverse world we live in.

      Each tab is divided into year levels. You only need to read the information in your applicable year level. Each year level includes information, videos and activities on the six areas of our digital citizenship programme that make up our new Acceptable User Policy (AUP): cyber safety; online privacy and security; digital and media literacy; responsible use of technology and networks; intellectual property and plagiarism; health and technology.  

      You will need to sign this agreement before you can use or bring your own devices to school. At the end of the course, you will be required to complete a quiz and score 80% or 16 out of 20 to pass. You will 10 minutes to complete the quiz. You will have three attempts to pass the quiz. Once you pass the course, you will be entitled to bring and register your device at school to access the wireless network free of charge. Devices need to be brought to the New Era Technicians at the end of A Block, who will record and connect your device.

    • Cyber Safety

      According to Netsafe and, 1 in 5 New Zealand High School students reported being cyberbullied. In a school our size that hypothetically could equate to 280 students, or the whole year level. Anonymous survey results from Year 9 FAHS in 2015 suggested 28% of the year level had experienced some form of cyberbullying in the past. It is vital that we understand the cyberbullying has many forms and know how to deal with it if it occurs.

      What is Cyber Bullying?

      The following is a list of ways people cyber bullying:

      Name calling and nasty posts: repeated cases where someone is sending out offensive messages and threats.

      Rumours: spreading rumours, posting gossip or false information to damage someone's relationships.

      Leaving people out: intentionally excluding someone from an online group or conversation.

      Tricking them: convincing someone to give out private information or spreading someone else's secrets.

      Pretending to be someone else: pretending to be someone else and posting material to damage that person's reputation.  

      What don't teenagers talk about Cyber Bullying?

      Click here to find out why teenagers do not, but should talk about bullying.

      What should I do if I am or witness Cyber Bullying?

      If you are being cyberbullied, you should:

      1. Tell someone. Tell your parents, teachers or a trusted adult. Do not stay silent and hope it will go away - it won't!

      2. Keep records. Save and store emails, Facebook posts, Instagram photos, text messages in case of Police investigation.

      3. Block bullies. Block and delete the bully from all contact lists.

      4. Ignore them. Do not respond to nasty posts, texts or comments - this is what the bully wants so ignore them.

      5. Report it. Use the 'report abuse' button which all websites/applications have. Tell them the problem and they are obligated to investigate. Mobile phone providers also provide services and applications to help. Check your providers websites for details.

      6. Delete accounts. If bullying continues, delete your current accounts and start new ones. Only give your new details to a small list of trusted friends.

      7. New accounts. Get a new phone number if being harassed on your phone. Your mobile provider can provide a new number.

      8. The Fuzz. If the bullying continues, get your parents or school to report it to the Police.

      How Does Cyberbuyllying Affect You?

      Who is involved Cyber Bullying? All of Us.

      Understanding the Victim:

      Anyone can be the target of cyberbullying - even someone who is very popular in school and has a lot of friends. Cyber bullies can have a huge impact on their targets. If the bully is anonymous, targets don't know who to respond to or how to stop it. Cyber bullying has an unlimited number of witnesses, which can make it even more humiliating. 

      Understanding the Bully:

      It's much easier to hurt someone when you don't have to look them in the eye. We are all more likely to engage in cyber bullying than we are in traditional bullying. Cyber bullies can be shy, quiet, and nice in public. One-quarter of youth who cyber bully are teenagers who have also bullied their peers offline. The rest do not bully others in person, which tells us that digital world has created a new type of bully. Those who would never consider bullying in the physical world are doing so in the digital world. We don't see the consequence of our actions or the social response. This lack of feedback can minimise our feelings of empathy or remorse. 

      Understanding the Bystander

      Bystanders have the power to end - and even prevent - cyberbullying. Your first act as a helpful bystander is to refuse to pass on hurtful messages or photos, and to stop visiting blogs that are abusive. As a bystander, you can the tell the bully to stop or that you are not interested in the gossip or mean comments. You can also publicly condemn bullies' actions on their blogs or Facebook pages - telling other bystanders that your don't think it is acceptable. You can even report what you witness

      Am I at Risk?

      The behaviours listed below can put you at risk of cyber bullying. Answer 'yes' or 'no' to the following online acts. Each 'yes' makes it more likely that you already have been, or soon will be, the victim of cyber bullying. 

      1. Someone else knows my password for my email or for a social media website (other than my parents)

      2. I use messenger programmes to talk to people I don't know in real life.

      3. I have a website or blog with personal information about me and photos of me on it. 

      4. I use a password hint to remember my passwords. 

      5. I have shared my photo with someone I met online. 

      6. I have emailed embarrassing or nude photos of myself to someone else. 

      7. I have my mobile number listed on a social media account or website. 

      8. I accept messengers and invitations from strangers

      How many times did you answer 'yes'? If you answered 'yes' even once, you should make an extra effort to protect yourself?

      Am I a Cyber Bully?

      Have you ever....

      1. Signed on to email or a social networking site using another person's name and password?

      2. Sent an email or online message from someone else's account?

      3. Forwarded a private message or email with the writer's permission?

      4. Hacked into someone's account or their password-protected computer?

      5. Posted rude, nasty, or hurtful comments about someone online?

      6. Teased or frightened someone online?

      7. Joined an online chat and singled out others or made them feel unwelcome?

      8. Accused someone of doing something online without proof?

      9. Followed someone all over the Internet, from social media site to other online forums. 

      If you answered 'yes' even once, you may be a cyber bully. Remember, on the Internet, nothing can be undone. 

      The Effects of Cyber Bullying

      In 2012, Amanda Todd, a Canadian teenager posted a nine-minute YouTube video about her experiences of being cyber bullied. This brutal and honest account of her experiences online went viral one month later after Amanda took her own life. There are concerns that today's Generation Z teenagers are becoming desensitised to the impact their digital decisions and actions cause others. Unfortunately, we sometimes see our actions as one isolated incident without considering and understanding the impact repetitive actions have on our emotional and mental health. To see it from the perspective of those being bullied, watch the video below. Please be warned there is a photo of self-cutting at the end. If you do not wish to view, stop at the final card that reads: Amanda Todd


      Cyber Bullying Law

      In 2015, the New Zealand Government passed the Harmful Digital Communication Act (Cyber Bullying Law). If found guilty of cyber bullying, individuals can face a maximum penalty of $50,000 and up to 2 years in prison. 



      1. According to Netsafe, how many teenagers in New Zealand experience cyber bullying?
      2. If you experience cyber bullying, what should you do after you have told a trusted adult and before you block the bully? 
      3. What are two reasons why teenagers do not talk about cyber bullying?
      4. Who are the three parties involved in the cyber bullying process?
      5. What is the maximum penalty for an individual found guilty under the new Harmful Digital Communication Act?

      • Online Privacy and Security

        Personal Safety

        Safety is the most important, yet often neglected, concern for teenagers online. To ensure your safety, you need to remember five key things:

        1. Never give out personal contact information. 

        2. Never share intimate personal information or personal interests, such as your city or school name. 

        3. Never give out passwords to anyone other than your parents, not even your best friend. 

        4. Never send or post embarrassing pictures of yourself to your friends or a website, even if you think it is private. 

        5. Never write anything in an email, text message or blog post that you would not feel comfortable telling your parents or teachers. 

        The following article suggests that most New Zealand teenagers have been asked to send or post a nude photo of themselves and that some have become addicted to the act of sending explicit photos of themselves to others: "Sexting like 'drug addiction' to Kiwi teens"  The article states that 30% of overseas teenagers have participated in sexting. 


        Oh no, this is going to be one of those awkward conversations and lessons where my teacher is going to try to look comfortable. The info-graphic  has a tremendous amount of information to consider all the information you should know about sexting; however, here is what you need to know about sexting.

        1. Once you take that photo and send it, you lose control over how it is shared or distributed:

        2. You can and should ask the person you have sent it to, to delete the images. 

        3. If that person refuses to delete the images or threatens to post or share the images, report them. While you might think it is embarrassing to explain to a parent or teacher what has occurred, there are concerned about your safety and the earlier you report it the less likely the images will have been shared. 

        4. If the images are of individuals under the age of 17, these are considered objectionable materials and someone distributing them is subject to investigation by the New Zealand Police. 

        Social Media Privacy Settings

        Only 60% of social media users enable the privacy settings on their account. A lot of users do not realise that information they have posted can be seen and stored by others. If you have any of the following accounts, we highly recommend you visit these sites to update your privacy settings:

        FacebookThe Complete Guide to Facebook Privacy Settings 

        SnapchatSnapchat Support: Change your Privacy Settings

        Instagram: 7 must-know tips for Instagram Privacy

        TwitterProtecting your Tweets

        Tumblr: How to make a Private Blog

        Anonymous social media sites

        The obvious issues that emerge with these sites is that people feel they can say or comment anything without consequence. As cliche as it might sound, if you are not willing to identify yourself, you should not comment. The emergence of all these web and mobile apps will continue, but it is worth knowing about some of them and staying away from them.


        whisper       after school   Yik Yak       Secret 

        Secure Sites: Social Media and Online Shopping

        We all love AliExpress, GrabOne or 1 Day Sales, but what about all the numerous websites that are popping up selling cheap merchandise? There are two things you need to look for when you visit a website or online retail shop:

        1. The letters https:// in the url. The letters stand for Hypertext Transfer Protcol Secure. The 's' means the information being sent to and from the website is encrypted and secure. 

        2. Look for the little padlock symbol in the top left-hand corner of the url address. 

        10 Signs that an Online Shopping Site is Secure

        1. No pop-up ads

        2. No unsolicited email. 

        3. Other shoppers had good experiences. 

        4. The site has a physical address or phone number.

        5. There is a return policy. 

        6. Prices are not too low to believe.

        7. Credit cards are accepted. 

        8. The site features a padlock or unbroken key icon. 

        9. The site url starts with https://

        10. The site has a privacy statement.  

        Click on the following link to visit Netsafe's Guide on Safe Online Shopping

        END OF SECTION 2 


        1. What is the first rule to ensure you stay safe online? 
        2. What are two reasons why teenage girls participate in sexting?
        3. Does a temporary application (like Snapchat) keep your digital communication safe?
        4. What percentage of individuals enable the privacy settings on their social media accounts?
        5. What does the 's' in https:// stand for? 

        • Digital and Media Literacy

          Digital Literacy

          Digital literacy means that you can:

          Use key words and search the Internet effectively. Typing the whole phrase into a search field is NOT effective. Learn the simple, time-saving and efficient ways of locating information at the following links: Get More Out of Google or Essential Tips and Tricks for faster and safer browsing on Safari

          Research appropriate content.  Turn on Safe Search functions when searching for content to ensure matching sites do not content any explict or inappropriate material. To learn how to turn on this function, visit Turn Safe Search On

          Recognise valid and reliable information sources. The rise of Web 2.0 has led to greater user generated content. Blogs, social media sites wikis may look legitimate, but there is no way to know whether the information is accurate or proven. The following are a couple of things that a credible and valid website will have

          An author, government or organisational name.

          Dates that information or articles are generated

          Sources. Information is supported with citations, links, etc.

          Domain name. Anyone can purchase a "" domain. Look for websites that use .gov (governments); .edu or (schools) or .org (non-profit organisations)

          Writing Style. If you cannot understand the writing, or the site has lots of spelling and grammar errors, it could be a sign that it is an amateur or personal site.  

          Use and acknowledge material taken from the internet. If you use information you find online in your work, you CAN NOT JUST COPY AND PASTE! Rewrite the ideas in your own words and reference where the information is from (site name and internet url address). To learn how to accurately cite information you find online, visit the following site, insert the information and it will create the citation for you: Citation Machine

          Media Literacy



          Media literacy means that you can:

          Access media. This means you can access files, photos and videos in an online forum. It also means accessing the media from legal sources (i.e. no torrent or peer to peer file sharing of copyrighted material).

          Analyse and Evaluate media. This requires you to realise that you are a target audience. Producers of media use different techniques to persuade you to think or act a certain way. In order to analyse media you need to consider:

          Who created this message?

          What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

          How might different people understand this message differently from me?

          What lifestyles, values, points of view are represented or left out of this message?

          Why is this message being sent?

          Create media. Since 2004, Web 2.0 has given users more access and ability to create their own media and share it with the world. As a result, you are responsible for the content of the media you create. You should NEVER post images or video of others without their permission.

          END OF SECTION 3


          1. One is one method you can use to search Google more effectively? 
          2. What are three signs that a website is a reliable source of information?
          3. What is one online tool you can use to ensure you reference your work correctly?
          4. What three things make up media literacy?
          5. You should always seek permission before....? 

          • Responsible Use of Technology and Networks

            It is important to realise that we are all responsible for the responsible use of technology and networks within school. 

            However, student use of technology and networks is slightly more complicated than this image. It is impossible to completely define unacceptable use of ever-changing technologies, here are examples of what is considered unacceptable use:

            1.  Sending or displaying offensive message or pictures: This includes everything from harmful and harassing messages through to inappropriate screen savers.   

            2.  Using offensive or obscene language: This includes anything you would not say in front of your teacher. 

            3.  Harassing, insulting, threatening or attacking others, including racial and sexual slurs: This includes a wide variety of examples, which at their core are harmful to someone. 

            4.  Damaging equipment or networks: This includes physical damage to keyboards, mouses, laptops or trying to write a code to damage the school server. 

            5.  Plagiarism and violating copyright laws: This includes copying and pasting work from the internet through to trying to download software or applications on school equipment.

            6.  Trespassing in others' folders, work or files: You should NEVER access another person's work or files without their permission. 

            7.   Intentionally wasting resources: This including needless printing and use of equipment that others may need. 

            A common image and acronym when schools look at responsible use of technology and networks is THINK:

            END OF SECTION 4


            1. Name three things you are responsible for when using technology at school? 
            2. Name three things the school has the right to do?
            3. Name three things that school is responsible for with school technology and networks?
            4. What are three behaviours that are considered unacceptable?
            5. What acronym should you consider when interacting online and at school? 

            • Intellectual Property, Copyright and Plagiarism

              Everything on the internet is free to use right? Can't I just copy and paste the information into my assessment? Can I download or stream that movie in class?

              There are a number of issues that comprise intellectual property and copyright:

              Plagiarism. There has been a rise of plagiarism in student work when students copy and paste materials from the internet and claim it as their own work. In order to avoid plagiarism, you need to reference and cite any information you use from the internet, even if you don't use it word for word.

              There are four distinct types of plagiarism. The following definitions are provided by Bowdoin College. 

              Direct plagiarism is the word-for-word transcription of a section of someone else's work, without attribution and without quotation marks. The deliberate plagiarism of someone else's work is unethical, academically dishonest, and ground for disciplinary actions. 

              Self-plagiarism occurs when a student submits his or her own previous work, or mixes parts of previous works, without permission from all teachers involved. 

              Mosaic or Patch plagiarism occurs when a student borrows phrases from a source without using quotation marks, or finds synonyms for the author's language while keeping to the same general structure and meaning of the original. Sometimes callled "patch-writing" this kind of paraphrasing, whether intentional or not, is academically dishonest and punishable - even if you cite your source. 

              Accidental plagiarism occurs when a student neglects to cite their sources, or misquotes their sources, or unintentionally paraphrases a source by using similar words, groups of words.

              Creative Commons. Creative Commons is a term and icons used to identify whether the images and information you find online is free to use and adapt. 



              File Sharing and Streaming: There is a lot of confusion over the legalities around file sharing and streaming content online. The following information is a brief overview of file sharing, piracy and streaming content from Vodafone.

              On 1 September 2011, the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act came into effect. This prohibits file sharing of copyrighted content online. We think it’s important for our customers to understand this legislation and what it means for them.

              File sharing is the common name for sharing electronic files. For example, to or from another computer over the internet. In New Zealand, the Copyright Act 1994 protects owners and producers of content. Copyright protects original works - whether in hard copy or electronic form - across literature, music, film, art, computer programs and communications.

              The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011 allows the owners of copyright works (Rights Owners) to enforce their rights against people who use file sharing applications or networks to illegally make available or download copyright works (content) via the internet.

              The law applies to:

              • Downloading and uploading of copyright works (such as movies, songs, and software) illegally
              • Peer-to-peer sharing* of copyright works using a file sharing application (including storing copyright works in a shared folder accessible by a peer-to-peer program)
              • Posting copyright works on websites, and enabling others to download them

              What it means for you

              If you share a copyright work illegally, the owners of that work may take legal action against you, and you may be fined or made to pay damages. Right now, the infringing file sharing provisions only apply to fixed line internet. However from late 2013, they will apply to mobile broadband and mobile phones too.

              END OF SECTION 5

              REVIEW QUESTIONS

              1. How many types of plagiarism are there?
              2. What type of plagiarism is it if you reuse your work from the previous year with a new assessment?
              3. What does 'Attribution' mean under the Creative Commons licence?
              4. What does the Copyright Amendment Act 2011 allow companies and individuals to do?
              5. Does the Copyright Amendment Act apply to mobile devices?

              • Technology and Health

                Feeling tired? Headaches? Anxiety and trouble concentrating?

                Your use and exposure to the internet and technology has an impact on your physical and mental health. The following videos are a starting point to consider the affects of your technology use.

                Physical Health

                There are numerous physical health concerns associated with technology and internet use. 

                1. Sleep Loss. There are studies that suggest that the electronic blue light from mobile and technological devices make it difficult to fall asleep. 

                2. Eyesight Loss. There is an increase of 'nearsightedness' in society due to the small screens we are all staring at these days. 

                3. Hearing Loss. The use of headphones and lack of understanding about noise levels has had an impact on people's hearing. 

                4. Joint Pain. There is an increase in neck and arm/wrist/thumbs pain due to use of devices. 

                How the Internet Affects Us

                Internet and Gaming Addiction

                We all the Internet to unwind and relax, but how much time on the Internet is too much? 1 in every 25 teens reported an 'irresistible urge' to be on the Internet. If you agree with each of these five statements, you might want to talk with someone about your Internet use:

                1. Spending more time online than you realise. This doesn't just mean surfing websites and online shopping, but also includes gaming and watching videos. 

                2. Isolating yourself from family and friends to spend more time online. This means deliberately brushing off your family and friends to spent time online. 

                3. Becoming defensive about the time you spend online. If you get upset when someone suggests you spend too much time on the Internet, you are defensive. 

                4. Difficulty completing tasks at school because you spend too much time online. Are you spending more time online than finishing your schoolwork? 

                5. Good feeling when using social media and gaming. Does Facebook make you feel happy and accepted? Do you check who has liked your posts?

                Internet and Sleep Deprivation

                Internet Addiction Test (IAT)

                The Internet Addiction Test (IAT) is the first Validated measure of Internet Addiction described in the IAT Manual to measure Internet use in terms of mild, moderate, to several levels of addiction.

                For more information on using the IAT and building an Internet Addiction treatment program in your practice, visit for our comprehensive workbook and training programs.

                Based upon the following five-point likert scale, select the response that best represents the frequency of the behavior described in the following 20-item questionnaire.

                0 = Not Applicable
                1 = Rarely
                2 = Occasionally
                3 = Frequently
                4 = Often
                5 = Always

                1. ___How often do you find that you stay online longer than you intended?
                2. ___How often do you neglect household chores to spend more time online?
                3. ___How often do you prefer the excitement of the Internet to intimacy with your partner?
                4. ___How often do you form new relationships with fellow online users?
                5. ___How often do others in your life complain to you about the amount of time you spend online?
                6. ___How often do your grades or school work suffer because of the amount of time you spend online?
                7. ___How often do you check your e-mail before something else that you need to do?
                8. ___How often does your job performance or productivity suffer because of the Internet?
                9. ___How often do you become defensive or secretive when anyone asks you what you do online?
                10. ___How often do you block out disturbing thoughts about your life with soothing thoughts of the Internet?
                11. ___How often do you find yourself anticipating when you will go online again?
                12. ___How often do you fear that life without the Internet would be boring, empty, and joyless?
                13. ___How often do you snap, yell, or act annoyed if someone bothers you while you are online?
                14. ___How often do you lose sleep due to late-night log-ins?
                15. ___How often do you feel preoccupied with the Internet when off-line, or fantasize about being online?
                16. ___How often do you find yourself saying “just a few more minutes” when online?
                17. ___How often do you try to cut down the amount of time you spend online and fail?
                18. ___How often do you try to hide how long you’ve been online?
                19. ___How often do you choose to spend more time online over going out with others?
                20. ___How often do you feel depressed, moody, or nervous when you are off-line, which goes away once you are back online?

                After all the questions have been answered, add the numbers for each response to obtain a final score. The higher the score, the greater the level of addiction and creation of problems resultant from such Internet usage.  The severity impairment index is as follows:

                NONE 0 – 30 points

                MILD 31- 49 points: You are an average online user. You may surf the Web a bit too long at times, but you have control over your usage.

                MODERATE 50 -79 points: You are experiencing occasional or frequent problems because of the Internet. You should consider their full impact on your life.

                SEVERE 80 – 100 points: Your Internet usage is causing significant problems in your life. You should evaluate the impact of the Internet on your life and address the problems directly caused by your Internet usage.

                • Digital Citizenship Interactive Games

                  Okay, fine I get it. Can't I just play some games now?
                  You can test your knowledge in the role-playing game, "Welcome to Anywhere", click on the photo below, or the hyperlink for the Common Sense Digital Compass Game.


                  Or see how you would handle a day at school when someone creates a malicious website about your friend.  Click on the hyperlink for the Digizen Game

                  What about taking a trip into space with PBS' Webonauts Game.  Click on the hyperlink for Webonauts Internet Academy