Digital Fluency and Digital Citizenship

A person is digitally fluent if they have the skills to participate in a digital society, and is a digital citizen when they are effectively doing so.


Therefore a digital citizen is defined as somebody that has appropriate:


Skills and strategies to access technology to communicate, connect, collaborate and create; and

Attitudes, underpinned by values that support personal integrity and positive connection with others; and

Understanding and knowledge of the digital environments and contexts in which they are working, and how they integrate on/offline spaces;


and then critically:



They are using their ‘digital fluency’ competency to participate in life-enhancing opportunities (social, economic, cultural, civil) and to achieve their goals.

The foundations of a digital citizenship programme

The following six foundation principles underpin effective digital citizenship programmes:


Ako | Young people are “active agents” in the design and implementation of digital citizenship, including approaches to online safety.
Whanaungatanga | An unbounded, coherent home-school-community approach is central to the development of digital citizenship and online safety management.
Manaakitanga | Approaches to digital citizenship are inclusive, responsive and equitable in design and implementation.


Wairuatanga | Digital citizenship in action positively contributes to wellbeing and resilience development enabling safer access to effective learning and social opportunities.
 Mahi tahi | Digital citizenship development and online safety incident management are fostered through partnership approaches, coherent systems and collaboration.
Kotahitanga | Evaluation and inquiry underpin the ongoing design of digital citizenship approaches, based on rich evidence from young people and their whānau.
The relationship between digital capability, fluency and citizenship is further explored in our white paper.