The most relevant student-management issue is Internet use. Access to technology and the Internet is vital for students. These skills are essential in all aspects of their lives. Our school has a problem with students accessing unauthorized sites while at school. Many of our students do not have access to the Internet at home. According to Bissonette (2009), a "digital divide" exist between households and schools that have access to the technology and those who do not. This divide can be devastating when you look at the big picture, which is training today's students for tomorrows world. Along with Internet use, our next biggest problem is the Acceptable Use Policy. Internet access should be denied if students do not have a signed AUP on record. I also think that we need an Internet use and access policy in place for district employees.
I have learned that all schools need to have policies in place to avoid being held liable for inappropriate use of the school Internet. Our students (and staff) need to understand the ethical use of school resources. They need to understand that the school Internet is not the place for self-disclosure. Educating students about appropriate Internet conduct is important to the school. I also think employees need to be reminded that inappropriate e-mails are not to be tolerated. They also need to be reminded that the district has records of these e-mails for several years. Students need to learn at a very early age the dangers that lurk on many sites that seem to be geared to them. Many times students want to play games at school that have pop-up ads. We must educate them that every ad that looks innocent may not be. We also need to educate them on the use of bandwidth and how these sites slow down the network.
As technology leader, I know that I will need to bolster the Acceptable Use Policy to include consequences for those who do not obey the policy. Some sites accessed by students and staff may cause damage to our entire network. They need to be made aware of the damage and the danger involved in accessing this type of activity. I recently had a computer virus that was on a flash drive. In one of our training sessions we were told to unplug the computer immediately if we thought we may have accessed a program with a virus to keep from infecting the entire network. Students need to understand that viruses can happen just that fast, in a flash.
Copyright affect me as a technology leader. I think this is the one area that we all need more training. I was talking to a person who want to create a website for her photography business. Her subjects are usually high school students. She photographs the graduation pictures they order to send to friends and family. She wants to set it up her site in such a way that her images cannot be used or copied without her permission. She wants to put a watermark on her work. I told her that, unfortunately, students with Photoshop skills are easily remove a watermark.
I learned that as a technology leader I will need to teach copyright law to our students and staff. Many times we have to copy and use information without permission. Teachers need to find out when this is acceptable. Our students also need to learn to cite their sources when using anything from the Internet. They feel that if it is on the Internet it is okay to use. Students and teachers need to know when and what materials they use fall within the fair-use to copyright to avoid liability. This is an area where everyone needs a lot of training. I think that school librarians are the first-line of defense. I learned that fair use can be asserted in educational settings, but you must take into consideration the purpose, nature of the work, amount of the work to be used, and effect on marketability. I also learned that I must educate teachers and students about the use of public domain materials. This would be an effective way to reduce the risk of copyright infringement.
Professional development would have to start with our librarian and her assistant. Librarians must stay abreast of copyright laws. They also know and understand public domain and fair-use issues. They would be the ideal personnel to spearhead this important topic.
Bissonette, A. M. (2009). Ethical Issues. Developing Responsible Internet Citizens. Cyber Law Maximizing Safety and Minimizing Risk in Classrooms. Thousand Oaks, CA:Corwin.
In : school law
Tags: "student management and technology""personnel management"