Applying social and ethical protocols and practices when using ICT

This element involves students in developing an understanding of intellectual property for digital information, and applying appropriate practices to recognise the intellectual property of themselves and others. Students use appropriate practices for the physical and logical storage and security of digital information, and apply appropriate protocols when using ICT to safely create, communicate or share information. They gain an understanding of the benefits and consequences of the use of ICT by individuals, groups and communities and the impact of the use of ICT on the fabric of society. In developing and acting with information and communication technology capability, students:

  • recognise intellectual property
  • apply digital information security practices
  • apply personal security protocols
  • identify the impacts of ICT in society.

From The Australian Curriculum.

Cultural and Social Understanding

Cultural and social understanding equips students with a language and context for their digital literacy.

Digital technologies, particularly online spaces, provide young people with opportunities for many new forms of interaction. Increasingly these interactions are mediated by different modes of representation such as images and sounds. Being able to decode these multimodal texts requires an understanding of the social and cultural practices that surround their creation.

In creating their own digital content and communicating with others young people will be constantly drawing on cultural references and their own experiences of digital media. They will, for example, be influenced by the style of texts and the use of images and sounds they experience in popular cultures. Even their imaginations will be rooted in cultural experience. The task of digital literacy teaching is to make this more explicit to students.

[Hague and Payton (2010) Digital Literacy Across the Curriculum, Future Lab, p.44]


Supporting young people to become competent, discerning users of technology is about helping them to develop the skills that allow them to critically question their own and others’ technology use. Becoming digitally literate will enable young people to make considered choices that will keep them safe when exploring, communicating, creating and collaborating with digital technologies.

Students need to learn about about age appropriate content, concern over the predatory behaviour of adults, acceptable use and cyber-bullying, issues of plagiarism, copyright and virus protection.

The e-safety agenda is about supporting children to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding that will enable them to make informed decisions in order to protect themselves on an ongoing basis.

[Hague and Payton (2010) Digital Literacy Across the Curriculum, Future Lab, p.46]