RSS Staff Handbook Section C32
This background information may be helpful as you read through and discuss the cybersafety use agreement with your child.
Below are the eleven rules to help keep students cybersafe as outlined in the cybersafety use agreement that you have been asked to sign.
All students must have a use agreement signed by their parent. Use agreements are an essential part of cybersafety policy and programmes for schools and other organisations.
This helps to ensure the equipment is available when students need to use it for their learning. It will also help to reduce the likelihood of any inappropriate activities taking place which put the safety of the learning environment at risk. There must be an educational purpose for children being online or accessing learning with or through technology.
This helps children to take responsibility for their own actions, and seek advice when they are unsure of what to do. It provides an opportunity for the teacher and child to work through an issue, and so avoid the child making an unwise decision which could possibly lead to serious consequences. We have a robust filtering service and a robust culture if unforeseen holes could occur.
Unfortunately, along with many benefits, technology has also provided new ways to carry out anti-social activities. Bullying and harassment by text message, for example, is becoming a major problem in New Zealand and in many other countries. Often children become involved in these acts through peer pressure, without thinking of the consequences. Ongoing conversations about this are important in developing digitally competent citizens as children move through education and into life.
Passwords perform two main functions. Firstly, they help to ensure only approved persons can access the school ICT facilities. Secondly, they are used to track how those facilities are used. Knowing how the equipment is being used and by whom, helps the school to maintain a cybersafe environment for all users and teaches the child the importance of personal security.
A device at school is a learning tool. There needs to be appropriate space to create and store learning artefacts and the application needed to create these installed. Software that is entertaining and large in size should be avoided. Applications that include violence or non learning activities are not to be used in any school setting. Some certificates and applications allow us support children if devices go missing or are needed to enable safer content filtering.
Because anyone at all can publish material on the Internet, it does contain material which is inappropriate and in some cases, illegal. The school has taken a number of steps to prevent this material from being accessed. However, there always remains the possibility that a student may inadvertently stumble across something inappropriate. Encouraging the student to tell a teacher immediately if they find something which they suspect may be inappropriate, encourages critical thinking and helps children to take responsibility for their actions and keep themselves and others safe. This way, they contribute to the cybersafety of the school community. The ‘Hector Safety Button’ can also be downloaded by parents for use on home computers from www.netsafe.org.nz
This is in keeping with your expectation (and our’s) about taking good care of any property whether it be your child’s or whether I belongs to the school.
This reduces the risk of children being contacted by someone who wishes to upset or harm them, or use their identity for purposes which might compromise children’s privacy or security online.
Just as we look after and take care of any school equipment, students, as responsible users of ICT, have a role here.
Depending on the seriousness of the breach of the rules, the school may require a parent discussion. Loss of ICT use privileges for a period of time may also be considered.
*The term ‘parent’ used throughout this document also refers to caregivers and legal guardians.
If you have questions about the content of this booklet, please email or call in to see James Rea our Deputy Principal and eLearning Director. Equally feel free to email if you would like some tips and support with technology.