As our school district continues to implement more technology within our schools, many of these funded programs, such as iPads for classrooms and laptop carts for academics, we are seeing a shift in the way we instruct. Just recently, the district kicked off a new program called “BYOD”, bring your own device for both teachers and students. Technology is here to stay within the Palm Springs Unified School District. With these new trends through technology and the Internet many concerns have emerged with teachers, administrators as well as parents. What can we do to make this twenty first century way of learning safe for our students. Recently, here in California cyber-bullying has been an issue we constantly struggle with. Therefore, a big push has been to make sure our Internet connections are safe and secure for the use social media by all students. With the implementation of Gaggle.net, a safe student and teacher network work system, we able to give parents and all other stakeholders a sense of safety when students socially communicate.
Here are the policies we strive to enforce throughout our schools:
1. All students and parents must sign an Internet and computer contract stating that all use of the electronic devices on campus will be appropriate and no cyber-bullying to take place. There is a zero tolerance at all schools on cyber-bullying within our district.
2. All students possess a Gaggle account and will use only Gaggle.net for all email communication throughout school.
3. Students must cite all websites on information and images. No copyright infringements. All students must use public domain or creative commons graphics and images when posting or sending over the Internet.
4. Cyber safety is key therefore all common social networks systems such as Facebook and My Space is prohibited on campus.
5. All questionable sites are blocked for student use. Teachers use discretion with accessible sites such as Teacher Tube, YouTube and WordPress.
6. All students, teachers and staff will use their correct names when communicating through email and safe social media. Using an alias is prohibited. All students must use their student identification number for their gaggle email account. Transparency is encouraged for a safe environment.
7. When communicating through email and networks profanity, racism , discrimination, disruptive or sexually explicit comments are prohibited. Remember there is a zero tolerance on cyber-bullying.
8. When communicating through safe social media and email, be thoughtful, appropriate and do not make anyone uncomfortable with words or comments.
9. Make sure that what is being sent through safe social media is accurate, true and that information, comments and email are spelled correctly Make sure to use good grammar and punctuation so that the recipient fully understands what is being said.
10. Parents must have complete access to all student and teacher communication on campus through Gaggle.net and the Palm Springs Unified School District Parent Connect.
11. Do not send or publish names or passwords and any other personal information over the Internet or email.
12. When publishing pictures of students make sure to fill out the appropriate permission slip for student and parent authorization.
Anderson, S. (2013). How to create social media guidelines for your school. Edutopia.What Works in Education: The George Lucas Educational Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/how-to-create-social-media-guidelines-school
Palm Springs Unified School District Cyber Policies. (2012). Retrieved November 11, 2013 from www.psusd.k12.ca.us/