School City of East Chicago
Bylaws & Policies
 

7540.04 - STAFF EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY ACCEPTABLE USE AND SAFETY

Advances in telecommunications and other related technologies have fundamentally altered the ways in which information is accessed, communicated, and transferred in society. Such changes are driving the need for educators to adapt their means and methods of instruction, and the way they approach student learning, to harness and utilize the vast, diverse, and unique resources available on the Internet. The School Board is pleased to provide Education Technology to its staff. Education Technology or "Ed-Tech" includes use of the Corporationís personal communication devices (such as computers, laptops, tablets, e-readers, cellular/mobile telephones, smartphones, and any other web-enabled device), network, and Internet connection and online educational services. The Corporationís Education Technology has a limited educational purpose. The Corporation's Education Technology has not been established as a public access service or a public forum. The Corporation has the right to place restrictions on its use to assure that use of the Corporationís Education Technology is consistent with its limited educational purpose. Staff use of the Corporationís Education Technology will be governed by this policy and the related administrative guidelines, and any applicable employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements. The due process rights of all users will be respected in the event there is a suspicion of inappropriate use of the Education Technology. Users have a limited privacy expectation in the content of their personal files and records of their online activity while on the Education Technology.

The Corporation encourages staff to utilize Education Technology in order to promote educational excellence in our schools by providing them with the opportunity to develop the resource sharing, innovation, and communication skills and tools that are essential to both life and work. The School Board encourages the faculty to develop the appropriate skills necessary to effectively access, analyze, evaluate, and utilize these resources in enriching educational activities. The instructional use of Education Technology will be guided by the Corporation's policy on Instructional Materials.

The Internet is a global information and communication network that provides students and staff with access to up-to-date, highly relevant information that will enhance their learning and the education process. Further, the Internet provides students and staff with the opportunity to communicate with other people from throughout the world. Access to such an incredible quantity of information and resources brings with it, however, certain unique challenges and responsibilities.

First, and foremost, the Corporation may not be able to technologically limit access to services, through its Education Technology, to only those that have been authorized for the purpose of instruction, study and research related to the curriculum. Unlike in the past when educators and community members had the opportunity to review and screen materials to assess their appropriateness for supporting and enriching the curriculum according to adopted guidelines and reasonable selection criteria (taking into account the varied instructional needs, learning styles, abilities, and developmental levels of the students who would be exposed to them), access to the Internet, because it serves as a gateway to any publicly available file server in the world, opens classrooms and students to electronic information resources which may not have been screened by educators for use by students of various ages.

The Corporation has implemented the use of technology protection measures, which are specific technologies that will protect against (e.g. filter or block) access to visual displays/depictions that are obscene, child pornography, and materials that are harmful to minors, as defined by the Childrenís Internet Protection act. At the discretion of the Corporation or Superintendent, the technology protection measures may also be configured to protect against access to other material considered inappropriate for students to access. The technology protection measures may not be disabled at any time that students may be using the Education Technology, if such disabling will cease to protect against access to materials that are prohibited under the Childrenís Internet Protection Act. Any staff member who attempts to disable the technology protection measures without express written consent of an appropriate administrator will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

The Superintendent or designee may temporarily or permanently unblock access to websites or online education services containing appropriate material, if access to such sites has been inappropriately blocked by the technology protection measures. The determination of whether material is appropriate or inappropriate shall be based on the content of the material and the intended use of the material, not on the protection actions of the technology protection measures.

Staff members will participate in professional development programs in accordance with the provisions of law and this policy. Training shall include:

 A.the safety and security of students while using e-mail, chat rooms, social media, and other forms of electronic communications;

 B.the inherent danger of students disclosing personally identifiable information online; and,

 C.the consequences of unauthorized access (e.g., "hacking", "harvesting", "digital piracy", etc.) cyberbullying and other unlawful or inappropriate activities by students online; and

 D.unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors.

Furthermore, staff members shall provide instruction for their students regarding the appropriate use of technology and online safety and security and specified above, and staff members will monitor studentís online activities while at school.

Monitoring may include, but is not necessarily limited to, visual observations of online activities during class sessions; or use specific monitoring tools to review browser history and network, server, and computer logs.

The disclosure of personally identifiable information about students online is prohibited.

Building principals are responsible for providing training so that Ed-Tech users under their supervision are knowledgeable about this policy and its accompanying guidelines. The School Board expects that staff members will provide guidance and instruction to students in the appropriate use of the Education Technology. All Ed-Tech users are required to sign a written agreement to abide by the terms and conditions of this policy and its accompanying guidelines.

Staff members are responsible for good behavior on the Corporation's computers/network and Education Technology just as they are in classrooms, school hallways, and other school premises and school sponsored events. Communications on Education Technology are often public in nature.

Staff members shall not access social media for personal use on the Corporationís network, and shall access social media for educational use only after submitting a plan for that educational use and securing the principalís approval of that plan in advance.

Staff members shall not access social media from the Corporationís network for either personal or educational use.

General school rules for behavior and communication apply. The School Board does not sanction any use of Education Technology that is not authorized by or conducted strictly in compliance with this policy and its accompanying guidelines. Users who disregard this policy and its accompanying guidelines may have their use privileges suspended or revoked, and disciplinary action taken against them. Users of the Corporationís Education Technology are personally responsible and liable, both civilly and criminally, for uses of Education Technology not authorized by this Board Policy and its accompanying guidelines.

The School Board designates the Superintendent and designee as the administrators responsible for initiating, implementing, and enforcing this policy and its accompanying guidelines as they apply to staff members' use of Education Technology.

Staff will provided with a school email account that they are required to utilize for all school-related electronic communications, including those to students and individuals and/or organizations outside the Corporation with who they are communicating for school-related projects and assignments. Further, as directed and authorized by their building principal, they shall use their school-assigned email account when signing up/registering for access to various online educational services.

Social Media Use

An employeeís personal or private use of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Blogs, etc. may have unintended consequences. While the School Board respects its employeesí First Amendment rights, those rights do not include permission to post inflammatory comments that could compromise the Corporationís mission, undermine staff relationships, or cause a substantial disruption to the school environment. This warning includes staff membersí online conduct that occurs off school property including form the employeeís private computer. Postings to social media should be done in a manner sensitive to the staff memberís professional responsibilities.

In addition, Federal and State confidentiality laws forbid schools and their employees from using or disclosing student education records with parent consent (see Board Policy 8330). Education records include a wide variety of information, and posting personally identifiable information about students is not permitted. Staff members who violate State and Federal confidentiality laws or privacy laws related to the disclosure of confidential student or employee information may be disciplined.

Staff members retain rights of communication for collective bargaining purposes and union organizational activities.

P.L. 106-554 (2000), Children's Internet Protection Act
47 U.S.C. 254(h), (1), Communications Act of 1934, as amended (2003)
18 U.S.C. 1460
18 U.S.C. 2246
18 U.S.C. 2256
20 U.S.C. 6801 et seq., Part F, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 965,
as amended (2003)
20 U.S.C. 6777, 9134 (2003)
47 C.F.R. 54.520, Childrenís Internet Protection Act

Revised 9/17/15

© Neola 2014