Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship Policy

Context

The 21st century learner has access to cell phones, Ipods, laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices. These devices can certainly be helpful learning tools assisting students with web browsing, voice recording, filming, calculating and many other tasks. Many experts predict students will require handheld devices as an integral part of their learning experience within the next 5 years. Our renovation and construction has resulted in our students having wireless access at almost any location on school grounds. As such, it makes sense that we move from policy of written policy of prohibition (with a very different reality) to a policy of responsible digital citizenship.

Policy

Individual teachers will set the electronic device policy in their own classroom. Safety concerns in some areas may mean that electronic devices are not permitted in the work area at all. Each teacher should include his/her policy on his/her course outline as well as post the policy in the room for students to see. At the beginning of the year each individual teacher will explicitly teach his/her policy with additional review of the policy occurring throughout the year. As well, administration will cover off general digital citizenship guidelines throughout the school year.

General Guidelines

All use of electronic devices (including cell phones, Ipods, laptops, computers etc) must be consistent with the general guidelines of the Parent-Student Handbook. Students are reminded that any harassment or bullying of other students using electronic devices is strictly prohibited. Further, students are reminded that even if the harassing or bullying behavior occurs away from the school, the Code of Conduct may require the school to act in any situation that impacts our learning environment.

Cell phones may only be used during class time with express permission from the classroom teacher. Cell phones should remain on silent (not ring or vibrate). Again, it is up to the teacher to grant permission for this matter.

Ipod use is only allowed with express permission from the teacher. Earbuds/phones must both be removed when the teacher or other students are speaking. Further, noise levels from Ipods must be such that other students are not bothered by the volume.

Students may use their personal laptop/tablet for academic purposes only at the discretion of the teacher.  Students should not use personal electronic devices outside of the classroom setting (in hallways, break/lunch, etc.).

Unacceptable Use

  • using electronic devices contrary to teacher/classroom policy
  • using an electronic device inappropriately towards another community member
  • using an electronic device on the school grounds to take photographs or video without teacher or administrative permission
  • using any piece of school-owned technology to harm another community member

Discipline for Inappropriate Use

Discipline action following inappropriate use of technology will follow consequences in the Parent-Student Handbook. 

Any incident deemed serious enough may result in immediate loss of electronic device privilege and possible other consequences.

Any student who is in the office dealing with an administrator is required to surrender his/her cell phone for the duration of the time spent in the office.

As the school does not mandate students bring electronic devices to school, students do so at their own risk. The school is not responsible for any damage or loss to electronic devices.

Acceptable Use Policy

The following technology usage policies elaborate guidelines and responsibilities for technology and Internet access for the students of TrinityChristianSchool. Access to the campus computer network and the Internet from TrinityChristianSchool verifies agreement to accept and follow these policies.

Trinity’s administration and faculty fully endorse the use of technology and the Internet as an educational tool. Access to information, research sources, people, and computers throughout the world is available to Trinity students. The school has procedures in place to restrict access to questionable material and limit inappropriate use, such as sites that deliver racist, gambling, pornographic, or tasteless material. Instant messaging, personal expression and game sites are blocked during the school day in order to encourage productivity.

Control of all online activities is impossible; therefore, all users who access the Internet through Trinity are required to adhere to strict ethical and legal guidelines. Students are expected to apply the Trinity Code of Conduct to acceptable technology use guidelines, and are to remember that computer resources and information are property; that email is a form of speech; and that conduct in using the computer resources provided by the school should live up to the Trinity ideal.

If Trinity users violate any of these provisions, their actions will be reviewed by the Director of Discipline and is subject to review by administration and Board of Directors, resulting in appropriate disciplinary action. Penalties may include suspension or dismissal.

Acceptable Use
Students must understand that the use of the school’s computer network and the Internet is a privilege and that inappropriate use will result in cancellation of that privilege. Trinity’s computer network is not an infinite resource. Use of the network should be reasonable and should be related to educational purposes or personal development. No commercial use of the network resources is permitted, and, obviously, no use of the network for illegal purposes is permitted.

Please note that the school administration under the leadership of the IT Director will determine what is inappropriate use and that their decisions are final. The IT Director may close the access of any user at any time or restrict access to certain types of resources to ensure the best use of the network for the entire community. The expectation of the faculty and administration is that students at Trinity will adhere to the above policies at all times.

Please read the following policies and security statements carefully. 

Before using Trinity’s computer network and before accessing the Internet through the school, students must agree to the Trinity Technology Acceptable Use Policy, promising to abide by the following rules and regulations: 

1. Access to computers and the Internet from Trinity Christian School must be in support of education and research. Students will refrain from accessing any news groups, links, list servs, or other areas of cyberspace that would be offensive to any students, teachers, or parents because of pornographic content; racial, ethnic, or minority disparagement; advocation of violence; or illicit/illegal content. 

2. Trinity supplies each student and faculty member access to the network for Internet. Connections to the Internet should only be made through the Trinity network. Use of other Internet service providers on campus is not permitted.
 
3. No software may be installed on a Trinity computer without the explicit permission of the Information Technology Office. This restriction includes programs that conflict with the Trinity network.

4. Trinity students who bring in their own outside technology (laptops, netbooks, cell phones, iPads, tablets, desktops, digital/video cameras, MP3 players, game devices, eBook readers and/or anything considered technology) are required to follow the rules of outside technology use set forth by the IT Office. Violation of these rules will result in disciplinary action by an administrator. During the school day, cell phones and personal audio devices (CD players, iPods, MP3 Players, iPhones, other cellular devices, or etc.) may only be used with the permission of and under the direct supervision of teachers. Use should include approved classroom activities for academic purposes only.   

5. Trinity has placed certain security restrictions on computers to protect our computer and network resources. Attempting to subvert or avoid the security restrictions is considered an attempt to damage school property. Students are responsible for monitoring and appropriately rejecting materials, links, dialogue, and information accessed or received by them, such as spyware, malware, and viruses. 

6. Students must accept responsibility for keeping copyrighted materials from entering the school via the Internet, storage devices, or any other method. Students must not download software, games, music, graphics, videos, text or other materials that are copyrighted. 

7. Plagiarism is unacceptable. Students accept responsibility for using downloaded text in an appropriate manner. Violation of copyright laws will not be tolerated. Students will not post, distribute, or use without permission material that was created by someone else. These activities constitute plagiarism, and students are reminded that plagiarism is a violation of the Parent-Student Handbook. 

8. Students will be courteous and use appropriate language while using Trinity’s computer network or Internet access. Students will refrain from swearing or using any forms of obscene, harassing, or abusive language. Students who are a victim of such harassment will report the abuse immediately to the IT Office, administration, a teacher or a counselor. 

9. Students will not reveal personal information including addresses, telephone numbers, debit or credit card numbers, or that of others.

10. Students will not lend their account or password to others, nor will they use another person’s account or password. 

11. Students will not use technology for inappropriate pictures, movies or for capturing somebody without their knowledge.

12. Students shall never access or send email from another student or faculty’s email account.

13. Students shall never impersonate someone else online.

14. Students will not post online blogs, photos, videos or any material about another person, student or faculty member without their permission

15. Cyberbullying will not be tolerated in any way by Trinity Christian School. Students involved in such actions will immediately go before the Director of Discipline and are subject to review by administration and the Board of Directors.

Computer Security
Electronic mail is not guaranteed to be private. IT Office members have access to all mail. Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities may be reported to appropriate authorities.

Students who suspect a security problem related to Trinity’s computer accounts or on the Internet are expected to notify the IT Office. Students should not demonstrate the problem to others. 

Any user legitimately identified as a security risk or with a history of problems with other computer systems may be denied access to the Internet through Trinity. Any user attempting to maliciously harm or damage data of another user or an area of the Internet will be denied access to the campus network and Internet through Trinity. This includes, but is not limited to, the uploading of computer viruses.