Changing individuals’ skills & behaviour

As mentioned above, almost every group had suggestions for education and training, even where those groups hadn’t identified a lack of skills as a problem. While some of this can be attributed to the pervasiveness of the knowledge gap myth, some of the suggestions for training did relate to the barriers that people had identified.

Internet studies at school

Most school-age participants reported that they already learned some digital skills at school and some felt that their school’s digital training was already sufficient. But some proposed there were areas that could be improved. One suggestion was to make ‘Internet Studies’ a more cohesive curriculum subject, covering a range of issues and skills.

“Internet Studies, make that a subject in school.” – High school student, Mangere

When asked what he would include in the ‘Internet Studies’ topic, this participant explained that he was especially interested in programmes to reduce online bullying, by focusing on positive relationships and communication skills.

“I’d like to see a programme educating positive relationships between peers and that’s not to emphasise the negatives of bullying, I think everyone understands that. It’s more about how to engage with your peers positively and to notice the consequences of your actions because I think sometimes bullies can be a bully without realising that they are.” – High school, Mangere

Transitional training for youth leaving school

One young man in Westport had been out of school for several years and wasn’t currently in work or formal education, but he was enthusiastic about the benefits of getting online and thought that more people would be too if they were exposed to the opportunities online.

“You can use the Internet on all sorts of stuff - if people knew what was out there they’d be more educated and use it more”  – Youth, Westport

Training for parents

One of the most common suggestions was training for parents, and in particular courses that would teach parents how to help their kids stay safe online.

"We had the issue of parents not letting kids use the Internet because they’re worried, if those parents were educated on what the dangers are and how to protect their kids from those dangers so that instead of a no using the Internet it could be - here’s how to use the Internet but here’s how you use it safely.” – Youth, Naenae

Young people also suggested programs and trainings that would help parents see the value of the Internet, which they thought would then result in them seeing the Internet as valuable for their kids. When asked how this would happen, the suggestion was to create opportunities for parents to participate in digital learning and creation alongside their children.