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Next year our school is beginning the process of becoming a 1:1 school. Our roll-out grades will be 5 and 6, adding several more grades each year. As part of our preparation for roll-out we revised our RUA. The following project is a composite of the results of this revision process and some of my own personal thoughts.
One thing I would like to highlight about this RUA is our attempt to bridge the gap between school and home. As we prepared for going 1:1 next year, we spoke to several schools that said they have had problems with parent push-back about using the computers. Some of the major parent concerns were:
- Students using the computers nonstop at home
- Students gaming when they should be working
- A variety of concerns about social media and the risks involved
These are just a few of the things we heard from other schools. IN our RUA we attempt to deal with some of those issues right up front by talking about what are the parent’s responsibilities at home concerning the use of laptops. Hopefully this provides parents some tips about how to deal with their concerns and make the process soother for everyone involved.
The one part of my project that is not actually included in next year’s RUA for the school is the Media Release. This has been an area of concern for me for some time. I want to use students work and images online for collaboration and to create an authentic audience for my students. However, without a clear policy, this has always occupied a moral grey area for me. In general, I have erred on the side of caution and not posted work, but I know that needs to change. I wrote, and included on this draft, a media release that is part of the RUA. This media release is an opt-out program, where parent have to let the school know if they wish to not have their student’s image or work published online.
Here is the RUA:
SFMS Technology Responsible Use Agreement
SFS is pleased to offer students access to computers, communications systems, the Internet and an array of technology resources to promote educational excellence. These resources should not be used for commercial, political, or personal entertainment purposes. Each student is responsible for his or her use of technology, whether school-provided, parent-owned, or personal; at school or elsewhere. Students must recognize that the SFS Christ-like Attitudes (see Page 4) are just as important when using technology out of school as when interacting with people at school. School personnel and parents must work together to educate students about their responsibilities and to establish expectations when using technology.
Access to technology at SFS is a privilege, not a right. Access to these services is given to students who agree to act in a considerate and responsible manner. Students must comply with school expectations and honor this agreement to be permitted the use of technology.
- I will use information and communication resources in a respectful, accountable, honest, legal and responsible manner for learning and education.
- I will protect my digital identity, and the digital identity of others.
- I will adhere to copyright laws and respect the intellectual property of others
- I will use resources in a way that does not disrupt learning.
- I will take good care of all technology resources entrusted to me.
- I will also follow division and classroom expectations and guidelines related to technology. The Middle School expectations are listed below:
- I will keep my passwords secret and not attempt to learn the passwords of others.
- I will properly log in and log out of school computers. If I find a computer that has not been logged out, I will either tell a teacher or log the previous user out before using the computer myself.
- I will use my network storage space only for school-related files.
- I will only print school-related assignments or information and I will do my best to conserve paper.
- I will only use school computers for school-related tasks. I will not play games, download images or other files, or use email for personal use without permission from a teacher.
- I will respect the school’s internet filter and not attempt to get around it with proxies (like “vtunnel.com”) or hacking. If I happen to access a site with content I know is inappropriate or that should be blocked, I will inform a teacher without showing the site to other students.
- If I find a lost USB drive, camera, phone, iPod, or other device, I will give it to a teacher or the MS Office.
- I will not download or run any executable files (*.exe, *.msi, *.bat and other types) on school computers as these may carry viruses. I will not attempt to install any applications on school computers.
- I will treat all school computers and other technological devices with respect and not use them in a way that will result in damage.
- I will not eat or drink anything but water in the computer labs, SMC, or around any other computers.
- I will not send harassing, embarrassing, or insulting messages to anyone in the SFS community, either from school, from home, or from another communication device like a phone or iPod.
- I will report violations of these guidelines to protect the privilege of technology use for all students and for my own safety and the safety of others.
Students in 6th grade in 2011-12 will be expected to bring a computer to school every day. This parent-owned computer will be an integral tool in the learning process. In future years, this “1 to 1 Laptop Initiative” will expand to other grades. Laptop computers are excellent tools for learning, but can also tempt students to make poor use of their time. Certain rules apply to the use of these laptops in the Middle School and these rules will be adjusted as necessary as we continue to expand their use. The following rules will be in place from the start of the year.
- Students will not use parent-owned laptops at school without teacher supervision.
- Parent-owned laptops will not be used
- at school before 8:10
- during passing time between classes
- during morning break, unless in a teacher-supervised room
- during lunch, unless a teacher is directly supervising
- in the cafeteria
- at school between 3 and 5:15 pm, unless a teacher is directly supervising
- Laptops (with AC adapters) should be brought to school fully charged and ready to use at the start of each school day.
- Game-playing, movie-watching, or any other non-curricular activity at school using parent-owned laptops is not allowed unless a teacher specifically gives permission and supervises.
- Students are responsible to keep their parent-owned laptops in secure locations at all times. The school will not be responsible for theft of unattended laptops or other tech devices.
- Required software, including anti-virus, must be installed on parent-owned laptops and kept up to date.
Parent supervision at home:
We expect and encourage some level of parent supervision of technology use at home. The following tips may help parents ensure that technology is being used appropriately and is not a source of distraction or means for inappropriate behavior.
- Students should use computers, mobile phones, and other communication devices in common areas of the home, not in a student’s private bedroom.
- Parents should require that schoolwork is complete before students use technology for gaming, chat, or other entertainment purposes.
- Parents should limit the total amount of time spent using technology.
- Parents should reserve the right to take away the student’s privilege of using technology.
- Parents should be personally informed about and involved with the particular uses of technology that the student engages in. Parents should know what kinds of music and movies are being downloaded, what sorts of games are being played, and who a student is conversing with online.
- Parents should require their children to add them as “friends” on social networking sites such as Facebook.
- Parents should model appropriate use of technology and digital citizenship. This includes respecting intellectual property and copyright laws.
Be aware that student work and/or images may be published online for educational purposes. Full names will never be attached to any image published. By signing the technology agreement, you accept these terms. If you wish to opt out of this, it is your responsibility to contact the school with your concerns.
Misuse of Technology:
Misuse of computer or technology resources, whether school-owned or parent-owned, will result in disciplinary action in accordance with our normal discipline policies. Additional disciplinary measures may be needed to address particular forms of misuse and may include loss of administrative rights on computers, removal of unauthorized or distracting software, installation of monitoring software, or a suspension of the privilege of using technology at school for a limited time.
Students will be given detailed guidelines and expectations on safe and appropriate use of technology and online resources.
Students and parents need to read and sign the technology agreement at the end of the handbook and return this to their advisory teacher.