Good digital citizens explore, remix and attribute

This winter, we took part in a fun digital citizenship symposium with the year 9s at Samuel Marsden Collegiate. It's all about safety, community, respect and ethics for growing up with modern technology. 

The umbrella of digital citizenship tends to encompass privacy, online profile awareness, safety, digital security, cyber bullying, netiquette, the law, access and media literacy. Samuel Marsden organised two days of conference style workshops and activities, and a third day for working on an outcome project. We joined representatives from NetSafe and the Privacy Commission to present, and students showed up with conference neck tags and resource packs in hand. 

On day one a couple of us from DigitalNZ and the National Library Services to Schools stepped up to tackle online etiquette (and ethics), copyright, and literacy. We especially love good research skills, remixing legally and attributing others for their work. 

Pro tips for students

It's easy to find quality digital resources for your assignments, you just have to know where to start. Try looking through the National Library website, DigitalNZ, Papers Pasts, EPIC (ask your school librarian about access) and Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. You could find out about your own school's history, like we did for Samuel Marsden

Samuel Marsden School Sports Day

Samuel Marsden School sports day. Crown Studios Ltd :Negatives and prints. Ref: 1/2-204205-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

Did you know why copyright exists? It's easy to find content you can legally remix and reuse online, look about for rights filters and search for Creative Commons marked content. 

Mix & Mash classroom activity

Remix To Learn About Copyright

On day two we ran a Mix & Mash activity. It was a fun way for students to gets hands on with things we'd talked about the day before. The catch is that it all took place offline. You can download our activity guide (pdf, word, odt) and try it out with your class. We also ran a questionaire to capture their thinking and our results are included. The activity describes:


Prepare interesting and historical images online and from our archives for remix. You can see our own student instruction and evaluation sheets.

Crowd Watching Lions

Crowd Watching Lions Rugby” By Wellington City Council (CC BY-NC)

Election Night Crowd

“Election night crowd, Wellington, 1931” By William Hall Raine From National Library NZ on The Commons (No known copyright restrictions)

Learning and Discussion

There are ways to get students talking about 'ethics' and remix. An introduction to Creative Commons doesn't have to be hard.

Hands on Remix

How to run a physical remix activity. Students make a bibliography, and consider copyright permissions. 

Finding out more about digital citizenship

There are New Zealand and international efforts to feature digital citizenship as an important part of school. Some good sites to visit are NetSafeHector's World, initaives from Australia, the United States, and posts from researcher Danah Boyd. Even better, you can help shape online courses through The Digital Citizenship Project lead by Auckland teacher Claire Amos.