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Investigating Your District's Policies on Technology

Investigating Your District's Policies on Technology


In this lesson, you will apply your school's and district's policies to the classroom use of technology.

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Video Transcription

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Hello, everyone. And welcome to today's lesson. We'll be discussing how to investigate your district policies on technology. My name is Gino Sangiuliano. And let's get started.

Over the past few years, I have found myself working on my computer or tablet in what once would seem like unusual places. From the barbershop to the laundromat, and of course coffee shops everywhere, one can find a free Wi-Fi sign on the window. This access has changed how many of us perceive these places. And what you will notice when you connect to those networks is that you have to agree to the terms of acceptable use policies.

We all click on them without giving it a second thought, and without ever reading the long text attached to it. As more and more schools move towards guest networks that require login, it might be important that we take a moment to share with our students what it is they are actually agreeing to.

Many of those policies are guided by CIPA, the Children's Internet Protection Act, which was established in the year 2000. It includes requirements for schools to follow when developing policies for Internet use. They include that there must be an internet safety policy, that districts must hold public meetings before adopting a policy, policies must include monitoring of online behaviors of minors, and that we must teach minors about appropriate online behaviors.

Best Practice suggests that acceptable use policy should address access to information. This includes from devices maintained by the school or devices that are personally owned and brought to the school by students. Like I mentioned earlier, reviewing your school's policy may not be a bad idea.

In doing so, you can see if it includes the following 10 items. A statement about compliance with the state and federal laws and regulations, list of roles and responsibilities for all stakeholders, rights and responsibilities of users when accessing district owned resources both on and off campus, a disclaimer limiting districts liability, description of instructional philosophies and strategies, description of safety measures, description of the districts method to insure security with the disclaimer, assurances that the policy will be enforced and what will happen if anyone violates that policy, and ongoing awareness of training of opportunities for all the stakeholders, and a description of the procedures for evaluating and revising the policy.

Here is a sample of a computer usage and internet policy. In this case, students and parents are asked to sign a hard copy of the agreement and return it to their teacher. Many schools have similar contracts that can be digitally signed as well. Some of the highlights include guidelines about passwords, loading software, playing DVDs, the use of disrespectful language, plagiarism, removing and adding programs, general care and maintenance, and the responsibility to report any problems. Note how the items on the policy might impact the use of technology in a classroom.

It's time to summarize what we learned in today's lesson. We reviewed the Children's Internet Protection Act. We looked at the requirements of the act and best practices. We discussed internet safety policies. And looked at a sample acceptable use policy.

And now, here's today's food for thought. Find out who developed the acceptable use policy for your school and when it was written. How often is it revised? How often do you think it should be revised?

It's your turn to apply what you've learned in this video. The additional resources section we'll be super helpful. This section is designed to help you discover useful ways to apply what you've learned here. Each link includes a brief description so you can easily target the resources you want.

Thanks for watching. Have a great day. We'll see you next time.

Notes on "Investigating Your District's Policies on Technology"

(00:00-00:11) Intro

(00:12-00:55) Wi-fi Everywhere

(00:56-01:30) What is CIPA?

(01:31-02:40) Best Practice

(02:41-03:36) Sample Use Policy

(03:40-03:58) Summary

(03:59-04:34) Food For Thought

Additional Resources

Acceptable Use Policy Considerations for Districts

This site provides an overview of acceptable use requirements and guidelines for districts from the Kentucky Department of Education. This site supports district decision making in developing an acceptable use policy that is in compliance with federal laws and regulations.

K12 Blue Print

This is a really comprehensive resource that provides examples and templates for district technology plans and acceptable use policies. There is a toolkit and template available for districts as they plan the following: acceptable use; technology plan; Flipped Classroom Policy; Policy Presentations for School Boards; Policy Presentations for Administrators; Policy Presentation for Teachers; and Policy Presentation for Parents. If you are increasing technology use in your district, this toolkit walks you through the process and provides you useful templates for your planning.