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MSB's Acceptable Use Guidelines for Technology in our School

posted Aug 16, 2017, 3:10 PM by Kimberley Phillips   [ updated Aug 16, 2017, 3:14 PM ]

You will be receiving a hard copy of this document in the first day packages that get sent home with your child.  However, it is easier to connect to the links mentioned in the letter if they are shared in electronic form.  Therefore, we have posted the entire document here.  If for some reason you don't get the paper copy, please print it from here and return only the bottom half to the school for record keeping.  If at any time, you want to review the policy, and you did not keep the original paper copy, please review it here.  Thank you for all your support in helping keep our classrooms digitally connected but also a place where students interact personally and learn from each other without the distractions of inappropriately used technology.


Acceptable Use Guidelines for Technology (phones and devices) at MSB

 

We are aware that many individual schools and school districts are banning cell-phones and personal devices from classrooms.  At MSB, we do not believe that banning cellphones for all students is the path to appropriate use for our students.  We know that there are benefits and drawbacks to our connection to technology. Technology connects us with people around the world; it supports collaborative problem solving; it helps us to see the effects of our actions a world away; and it helps us to learn from each other.  On the other hand, many studies show that it is addictive; it can create barriers between people as we reduce actual face time; and it makes it easy for us to say hurtful, thoughtless, or in-the-moment things that we instantly regret...but can’t take back.  Instead, education about digital citizenship and personal awareness is what will help us make better and healthier use of our technology.  To this end, we have created very clear expectations about the use of personal devices here at MSB for students, educators, and parents so that everyone in our school uses personal devices appropriately and at the appropriate times.

If you can, take a moment to look at the following videos to gain some insight into what is happening to people when they are constantly connected to their devices.  

The first is a stand-alone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL8AsaEJDdo&t=1s (4 minutes)

 The following are excerpts from a single programme on the topic of social media:

https://vimeo.com/212594078 (4 minutes)  https://vimeo.com/212594656 (4.34 minutes) https://vimeo.com/212595130 (5 minutes)

 If you don’t have time, please just read our school policies below, discuss them with your child and sign off on the bottom.

 

Grades K-5:      Students in Gr K-5 are not to bring any electronic devices to school.


With the high level of access to technology for our primary and early junior students, and the early stages of their digital literacy, students in these grades do not need personal devices for any academic reason. However, sometimes they do arrive with personal devices.  If they do, the following will occur:

Students will be asked to:

1.    Lock them in their locker and return them home at the end of the day

2.    Give them to the teacher who will hold on to the device and send it home with the student at the end of the day (if they do not have a locker)  

3.    Leave their devices in a safe space (locker, teacher’s desk) during outside break time. This ensures that they do not lose, break, or misplace a personal device.

4.    Go directly to a teacher and/or another adult in the school if they are experiencing a social problem. They are not to use their devices to contact home.

 

Grades 6-8

There may be times due to class size or shared access to the school devices, when teachers may encourage students to use their own devices for academic purposes such as research, calculating, translating, and/or coding.  These devices will only be allowed in the classroom when expressly requested by the teacher. We understand that some students do not have personal devices.  At school, we will ensure that they will have appropriate access to all the school technology needed in order to complete any assignments.  At all other times, personal student devices must be away and inaccessible in order to reduce distraction from the teaching and learning.  

 

Students in Grades 6 - 8 may bring devices to school only under the following circumstances:

 

1.    Have their devices turned off and in their lockers at all times

2.    Secure their lockers so that no other student has access to it. This means a lock must be on the locker and the combination has not been shared with any other student.  

3.    Understand that personal devices brought to school are their own responsibility.  Administration and teachers will attempt to solve the problem of lost, broken, or stolen phones however,  replacement costs are the responsibility of the student who owns it.

4.    Only use personal devices during nutrition breaks (if they want to and if in Grades  6-8) but they must adhere to the acceptable use guidelines described below which are as follows:

a)   Students can only use them outside in the designated intermediate areas on the playground (under supervision)

b)   Students can only use them inside during the designated lunch time and in their designated eating area (under supervision)

c)   Students are not to be using their devices in unsupervised or less supervised areas (i.e., halls, stairwells, links, change rooms, bathrooms)

d)   Never, at any time, are students to take pictures, video, or audio recordings of students or staff during the school day unless prior approval has been set up as part of an assignment during which the teacher will supervise.

 

Parents, you can help us by supporting and modelling appropriate use as well in order to encourage your child to focus on academics in school.

During class time, parents are requested to:

1   Contact your child by calling the office number 519-853-3800 to speak directly to an adult in the office who will pass the message on to your child at an appropriate time (i.e., not disrupting the class) or get your child directly to the phone if needed.  Do not text your children during class time.

 

2)   If your child texts you during class time, please respond with “please go to the office, talk to an adult there, and use the office phones.” Trust us.  When you text your child during class time and/or accept texts from them, you are implicitly telling them that they do not have to pay attention in class.  In addition, if there is a problem, texting your child is not helping them.  As parents, we know how devastating it is to get an emotionally upset text from a child, however, encourage them to talk to an adult.  Allow us to get the full story from all students involved in the moment rather than trying to deal with it after the fact or several days later. In this way, we can ALL support the students in their independent problem solving.

 

3)   Encourage your children to keep their personal device locked/secure when at school and to not share their combinations or passwords with anyone else

 

4)   Counsel your children that devices brought to school are their responsibility.  If items are lost, broken, or stolen, the school will do everything it can to help find it and/or solve the problem, but in the end, the replacement cost rests with the student who owns it.

 

5)   Sign off on the “media allowed” or “no media allowed” forms from the first day.  At MSB, we share pictures of the amazing learning we do every day.  Sometimes we post it on the wall, sometimes we post it on the closed TV system, sometimes we post it on Twitter or our school Website, and sometimes we share with “The Tanner”.  We never attach names to students’ pictures unless we get direct permission from parents first.

 

6)   Remind grade 6-8 students that the only time they are allowed personal access to their device is during nutrition breaks (10:55-11:35 am or 1:15-2:05 pm).

 

Consequences:  At MSB we follow a progressive discipline model which encourages teaching and learning as the basis for changing behaviour.  However, if students continue to make inappropriate use of their devices despite clear expectations being outlined, the following consequences will apply:

First offense:  Teacher will direct that the device be put away (in a desk or backpack) 

Second offense:  Teacher will direct that the device be put away by either placing it on the teacher’s desk or in the student’s locker 

Third offense:  Teacher will direct the student take it to the office to be held in a secure location.  Teacher will call home to indicate that device use in the classroom is becoming a problem. 

Fourth offense:  Teacher will direct the student take it to the office to be held in a secure location.  Administrator will call home to indicate that the device in the classroom is a problem and will recommend that the device not return to school for a period of time. 

Fifth offense:  Teacher will direct that the student take it to the office to be held in a secure location.  Administrator will call home to indicate that the device will not be returned to the student and instead needs to be picked up in the office by a parent.  During this time, a discussion will be had with student and parents about further offenses (i.e., removal of device from school for a set time or possible suspension for defiance of authority).

As you can see, this is quite a number of offenses where a student has had a personal device out in contradiction of the school code, therefore, any further offenses following these will result in the student’s personal device no longer being allowed at the school.

General Policy About Technology Use For All Students 

Outside of the use of personal devices (such as phones) which we dealt in the above few pages, every student at MSB will have contact with and use of instructional technology devices (such as chromebooks, spheros, laptops, iPads, etc.).  From the moment they enter our school, we will be building their digital citizenship skills.  If we work together to be on the same page, we can raise technologically smart children who can interact successfully on the global stage.  In order for that to happen, teachers, administrators, and parents need to be involved in and responsible for helping our students to understand and be aware of the challenges of working with technology.  To that end, all of us together will teach students to:

 

  1. Not engage in plagiarism or downloading illegal content
  2. Represent their online identity truthfully and only access account(s), information and systems for which they are authorized.
  3. Safeguard their passwords, account information, personal equipment and personal information (i.e. home address, telephone number, work address/telephone number of parents/guardians, or other identifying information such as video, images or the school’s name or address) from unauthorized users - basically don’t share your passwords!
  4. Not post, publish or knowingly download any inappropriate content (e.g., illegal, dishonest, offensive, swearing, racially offensive, sexual, threatening material or content that promotes hatred or harm against any group or person) in the form of text, video, images or music
  5. Not use any device to record audio or to take images or video of staff, students or any person during school hours (including nutrition breaks)                                 
  6. Not engage in social texting or use of social media apps / websites during the school day to connect with peers and/or family using any device


Want to know more?  Check out this link on copyrighting media:  http://copyrightandschools.org/#    

 


                                                                                                               

Please return this last page to the school with your signature and your child’s signature.

 

We know this was a lot of information but as technology use increases in the world around us, we are finding that appropriate use of technology and the ability to own and understand a student’s own role in it is increasingly becoming a part of our everyday discipline issues. You may keep all the information above at home for future reference and we encourage you to please take the time to review all of the above with your child to be sure that there are no misunderstandings about the expectations.  Together we can help our children become successful digital citizens who understand the power of their decisions.


I have read this and reviewed it with my child.  We both understand the expectations as outlined in the Acceptable Use of Technology Guideline of MSB for 2017-2018.


Your Child's Teacher's Name:                                                                                        Your Child's Grade:


Parent Signature:                                                                                                            Date:


Child's Signature (or printed name):                                                                               Date:

(all students in grades 6-8 need to sign, however, if they are younger and can sign, this is an opportunity for them to make a commitment to good learning practices)

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