Sunday, April 06, 2008

Internet Use Policy - Draft One is now complete....

Internet Use Policy - Draft One is now complete.
I will be presenting this to my staff at the staff meeting tomorrow. Once I present this we as a staff can discuss if there are any modifications that need to be done. By no means do I want to be, or claim to be known as the know-it-all of the Internet and Internet use, but this policy has come about as after much discussion, idea throwing and issue resolutions that have occur ed in our school. The like-minded group of teachers (including myself) have met and come up with this policy.
I had first off , sent out another note to my staff - as I normally do with updates, etc. - and had given the beginning of the policy, as far as it was made at the time, for their use until a more concrete policy could be decided upon. This actually settled a lot of confusions and issues that we did have in the school but was only the beginning. Now that we met and discussed a more specific plan of attack on this issue, there is a better worded policy that can be read to the students and staff and can be used as a new school policy.

Here is draft #1:

Internet Use Policy

Luseland School
April 2008

Rationale
Internet safety and responsibility is the key. As a generation who is constantly using technology, we must be aware that there are items that are not school appropriate and are not safe to view on the internet. We can work together to become digital technology citizens and become responsible for what is viewed in our school. This is the first step to making and keeping our school a safe place for students of all ages. Always navigate away from the inappropriate websites and report it to a teacher to avoid consequences and misunderstandings.

These policy items will be in effect as of April 7, 2008:

1. There will be no unsupervised use of any video websites.* This includes websites such as:
· Google Video
· Youtube.com
o These above websites are not to be used unless under direct teacher supervision. This involves the teacher being physically present while they are being used.
· Any other video websites
The only exception to this rule is the Discovery Learning (Streaming Video) website, which is directly education based.

Reasoning
a) Video websites slow down bandwidth of our school’s internet, making the computers’ internet slow for all users.
b) Some videos may contain school inappropriate content such as:
i. Violence (guns, killing, injuring, punching, kicking, etc.)
ii. Alcohol abuse
iii. Sexual content
iv. Drug abuse
v. Manipulation
vi. Profanity (swearing)
vii. Harming of others/themselves



2. Any gaming websites are only to be used to view or play school appropriate items. Use of gaming websites during class time is under the discretion of that particular teacher. Students are not allowed on gaming websites unless the teacher gives permission.
Many games are school appropriate, so use your common judgment and know that any games that include the items listed below will not be tolerated and will result in loss of privileges.
i. Violence (guns, killing, injuring, punching, kicking, etc.)
ii. Alcohol abuse
iii. Sexual content
iv. Drug abuse
v. Manipulation
vi. Profanity (swearing)
vii. Harming of others/themselves

3. No “social networking” websites are allowed to be used in the school. Wikipedia’s definition of a social network:
“A social network service uses software to build online social networks for communities of people who share interests and activities or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others.
Most services are primarily web based and provide a collection of various ways for users to interact, such as chat, messaging, email, video, voice chat, file sharing, blogging, discussion groups, etc.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network_service
This includes websites such as:
· Facebook.com
· Hi5.com
· Myspace.com
· Bebo.com
· Any other social networking websites
These items are to be used with discretion, on a student’s own personal time in a home setting, where they can be monitored by an adult such as a parent or guardian. School is a place where academic growth is the main focus. These types of websites are blocked at our school, as they do not need to be accessed and used by students.
Websites that are blocked from use are not allowed to be viewed. If a website is blocked by our school’s content filter and you have gone around the content filter to view that website, it is against school policy and is in direct violation of the computer use policy put in place by the division. Suspension of computer privileges will be immediate.


4. Websites used for music listening purposes are to be used with teacher permission during classes and only with headphones during student spares.
All music must be school appropriate.
These websites include:
· Deezer.com
· Any other free music listening (not video) websites as okayed by the classroom teacher
Reasoning
a) Music is acceptable if the teacher deems it appropriate. It is up to the teacher’s discretion as to if it will be allowed in their classroom. Ask your classroom teacher before putting on music during class.
b) Music listened to during spares is likely to be listened to in areas such as the library or in another classroom, and it is a respectful gesture to listen to music only with headphones in these areas during student spares.

5. Any websites containing the following information listed below is forbidden. Any students caught on websites containing any of this information without direct teacher supervision will be have their computer privileges removed. Items used in research for information in reports, essays, etc. are only acceptable if being viewed under direct teacher supervision.
i. Violence (guns, killing, injuring, punching, kicking, etc.)
ii. Alcohol abuse
iii. Sexual content
iv. Drug abuse
v. Manipulation
vi. Profanity (swearing)
vii. Harming of others/themselves

Consequences
Students caught violating these items will be facing consequences. They will include:

First Offence:
Ø The student will be removed from the computer, have their computer privileges suspended and will remain off of all computers for the rest of the day.

Second Offence:
Ø The student will be removed from the computer for the remainder of the day, have their computer privileges suspended, will have an office referral and be placed on the discipline cycle.

Third Offence:
Ø The student will be removed from the computer, have their computer privileges suspended, will have an office referral, will move up a step on the discipline cycle, parents will be contacted and a meeting between the parents and administration will be conducted.

*Computer use during student spares
Students must understand that although spares are unsupervised, these consequences will still be in effect for any student who is in violation of them. Any items that need direct teacher supervision (a teacher physically present) will not be allowed on spares unless there is a teacher directly monitoring your activities. Although spares are frames of time to be used to your discretion, computer use is not a requirement for those times, and therefore must be used accordingly or computer privileges will be removed during spares.


If you have your computer privileges suspended and:
A) You are supposed to be using a computer for a class that you are currently in; you will still have your computer privileges suspended until the teacher whose class you are in can discuss the issue with you and give you appropriate discipline. You are to remain off the computer until the time that your teacher whose class you are currently in can attend to the issue.
B) You are on a student spare; then you will have your computer privileges suspended for the remainder of the day. Computer use during spares is a privilege and not a necessity so use it according to the school’s policy.







There you go! Please do not pay attention to the formatting - it was done in MS Word and then copy/pasted into my blog and remember that this is only the first draft. Let me know what you think - your experiences and ideas can help shape this to be the best policy available!