1.7 Acceptable Use of Information and Communication Technologies Policy

 RATIONALE                                                                                        

The internet offers huge potential benefits for teaching and learning. It offers opportunities for students and teachers to contribute to the world community on the web. Blogs, social networking spaces such as Face book and instant messaging tools such as Skype are now part of students’ ‘life on the web’. Students can explore the world online, visit museums and libraries around the world, access rich information resources to support research and investigations, communicate and collaborate with people all over the world and publish to the web.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is the hardware and software that enables data to be digitally processed, stored and communicated.

The responsible use of ICT is imperative in the lives of students and is best taught in partnership between home and school. Safe and responsible behaviour is explicitly taught at Bellarine Secondary College and parents and guardians are requested to reinforce this behaviour at home.

PURPOSE

  • This policy guides the development and implementation of practices and processes to ensure the safe and effective use of ICT resources at Bellarine Secondary College
  • To ensure the College values of respect, honesty, lifelong learning, citizenship and teamwork are embedded in the use of ICT
  • To reinforce within the College community what behaving safely online means
  • To ensure that any unacceptable use including instances of cyber bullying are investigated appropriately and that support is given to both victims and perpetrators
  • To seek parental and peer-group support and co-operation at all times

POLICY STATEMENT

  • Before use of the College’s Internet, it’s crucial to make sure all users understand what they should and shouldn’t be doing online.
  • Behaving safely online means:
    • protecting their own privacy and personal information
    • selecting appropriate spaces to work and contribute
    • protecting the privacy of others (by not sharing personal information or images)
    • being proactive in letting someone know if something is ‘not quite right’. At home this would be a parent or guardian, at school a teacher.
  • These principles of safety and responsibility are not specific for the web but certainly apply to the use of internet at school. Just as in the real world, the virtual world of the internet involves some risks. Bellarine Secondary College has developed proactive strategies that help to minimise the risks to our students.
  • Use of the school’s network is governed by an ICT, Computer and Internet Users Agreement published in the College Student Planner.
  • The ICT, Computer and Internet Users Agreement is intended to encourage responsible action and to reflect a respect for the ability of its adherents to exercise good judgement.
  • Students can expect sanctions if they act irresponsibly and disregard their obligations to other users and the school as the provider of their Internet access. Staff are required to become familiar with the Department’s acceptable use policy Acceptable Use Policy for Department of Education’s Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) Systems – Departmental Policies – About the Department – Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
  • Students must not use the school’s internet, computers and digital learning devices or the ICT network in breach of a law or to commit an offence. This includes cyber-bullying, sexting and breaches of copyright.
  • All messages created, sent or retrieved on the school’s network are the property of the school, and should be considered public information. The school reserves the right to access and monitor all messages and files on the computer system as deemed necessary and appropriate.
  • Internet messages are public communication and are not private. All communications including text and images can be disclosed to law enforcement and other third parties without prior consent from the sender or receiver.

IMPLEMENTATION 

  • The use of the school’s digital learning network is subject to the ICT, Computer and Internet Users Agreement.  Briefly this means that the school’s network can be used only by staff, parents, students and associated individuals (eg visiting teachers) and only for or in connection with the educational or administrative functions of the school relevant to the role of the individual user
  • The College will implement programs that educate students about risks associated with inappropriate use of ICT
  • The ICT, Computer and Internet Users Agreement is intended to operate within and be consistent with existing school policies and procedures in areas such as:
    • Bellarine Secondary College Student Engagement and Inclusion Policy 2.1.1
    • Bellarine Secondary College Student Management Policy 2.1.5
    • Bellarine Secondary College Bullying and Harassment Policy 2.3.2 
  • Responsibility and accountability for network security is the shared responsibility of all network users. It is the responsibility of the student to protect his/her password and not divulge it to another person. If a student knows or suspects his/her account has been used by another person, the account holder must notify a teacher immediately.
  • Independent student use of the internet on the school’s network will only be permitted where students and their parents or guardians provide written acknowledgement that students agree to act in accordance with the standards of conduct established in this policy document and as set-out in the ICT, Computer and Internet Users Agreement
  • For breaches of the ICT, Computer and Internet Users Agreement students can face a number of consequences depending on the severity of the breech and the context of the situation. More than one consequence may apply for a given offence. Serious or repeated offences will result in stronger penalties.
    • Removal of network access privileges
    • Removal of email privileges
    • Removal of internet access privileges
    • Removal of printing privileges
    • Paying to replace damaged equipment
    • Other consequences as outlined in the school’s Student Engagement and Inclusion Policy 2.1.1
  • Bullying and harassment of any kind is prohibited. No messages with derogatory or inflammatory remarks about an individual or group’s race’ religion, national origin, physical attributes, or sexual preference will be transmitted.  Violations of any guidelines listed above may result in disciplinary action.
  • While the Internet may be largely a self-regulated environment, the general principles of law and community standards still apply to communication and publishing via the Internet. In addition to school penalties, there are legal sanctions for improper use of the Internet. Breaches of copyright, publishing inappropriate material, bullying and defamation are examples of where legal sanctions could apply.
  • The College will seek legal advice regarding potentially illegal activities and will refer these matters to the police.

REFERENCES                                                             

  • Bellarine Secondary College Bullying and Harassment Policy. Policy Number 2.3.1
  • Bellarine Secondary College Student Engagement and Inclusion Policy. Policy Number 2.1.1
  • The ICT, Computer and Internet Users Agreement published in the College student planner annually

EVALUATION

This policy will be reviewed every three years or more often if necessary due to changes in regulations or circumstances

 

Policy number 1.7
Approval date September 2014
Review date September 2017
DET/VRQA required Yes
Policy number 1.7
Approval date September 2014
Review date September 2017
DET/VRQA required Yes