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Miller School of Albemarle Technology Acceptable Use Policy

 

POLICIES GOVERNING THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY BY STUDENTS AT MILLER SCHOOL OF ALBEMARLE

Introduction and Overview

Access to information technologies is integral to the educational mission of the Miller School of Albemarle. We utilize technology in nearly every facet of instruction, activity, service, research, and operation of our school. This policy provides expectations for the use of technology as it affects our school and educational community. The school’s computer network is provided for limited educational purposes, not as a public access service. Technology is an integral part of a student’s experience at MSA curriculum thus we recommend that each student have a technology device for production of work as well as consumption of material.

All technology devices must be registered with the help desk before you have access to the Miller School of Albemarle Network. 

 

Due to the evolutionary nature of technology, it is imperative for students to realize that our policies regarding the use of technology in our community will also be evolutionary. We ask all students to employ their best judgment when it comes to the use of school technology and keep in mind that our policies related to technology are not meant to supersede our other school policies, but rather to compliment them. Although our school provides certain technologies, we recognize that members and guests of our community also have their own technology devices that they bring to our campus and 35 school events. Our policies address the appropriate use of both technologies provided by the school and personally owned technological devices. Please read the policies below before using our network and computers, because by using our technology you agree to be bound by the terms, conditions and regulations below.

“This policy was created from a Campus Outreach Services policy resource. For information on utilizing any language in this policy, please contact COS directly.”

Supervision and Personal Responsibility

This policy applies only to students. All adult users including teachers, student teachers, parents, faculty members and staff members have a separated Technology Use Policy. All Children and teens visiting our campus are also subject to the terms and conditions of this Technology Use Policy. All students must sign a permission form before they can utilize any school technologies. This permission slip must be signed on an annual basis at the beginning of every school year. Technology is a Privilege

All Technology: The use of school and personally owned technology on school property or at school events is a privilege not a right. This privilege comes with personal responsibilities and if you violate the responsible use of any school technologies, your privilege may be revoked and/or suspended. Our school provides sufficient information technology resources for each student for regular academic pursuits. If a particular research project requires additional resources, the information technology department works with students on a case by case basis to provide additional resources. A parent or guardian may revoke their child’s access to certain technology, including personally owned devices, while at school and school functions.

Privacy

The school reserves the right to monitor and track all behaviors and interactions that take place online or through the use of technology on our property or at our events. We also reserve the right to investigate any reports or inappropriate actions related to any technology used at school. All e-mails and messages sent through the school’s network or accessed on a school computer can be inspected. Any files saved onto a school computer can also be inspected. Students have a limited expectation of privacy when using their own technology on school property or at school events so long as no activity violated policy, law and/or compromises the safety and well-being of the school community.

Filtering

Our school adheres to the requirements set forth by the United States Congress in the Children’s Internet Protection Act. This means that all access to the Internet is filtered and monitored. The school cannot monitor every activity, but retains the right to monitor activities that utilize school owned technology. By filtering Internet access, we intend to block offensive, obscene, and inappropriate images and content including pornography.

Rights to Update

Since technology is continually evolving, our school reserves the right to change, update, and edit its technology policies at any time in order to continually protect the safety and well-being of our students and community. To this end, the school may add additional rules, restrictions, and guidelines at any time.

Termination of Accounts and Access

Upon graduation or other termination of your official status as a student at Miller School of Albemarle, you will no longer have access to the school network, files stored on the school network, or your school provided e-mail account. Prior to graduation, we recommend saving all personal data stored on school technology to a removed hard drive and set up an alternative e-mail account.

Definitions and Terms Section

Bandwidth – Bandwidth is a measure of the amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time.

Cyber-Bullying – Cyber-bullying is when someone sends derogatory or threatening messages and/or images through a technological medium in an effort to ridicule or demean another. Cyber-bullying also takes place when someone purposefully excludes someone else online. For example, a group of students create a group on Facebook that many would like to join, but the student creators purposefully exclude one individual or certain individuals and do not let them join their group. Cyber-bullying also takes place when someone creates a fake account or website criticizing or making fun of another.

Network – The school’s network is defined as our computers and electronic devices such as printers, fax machines, scanners, etc. that are connected to each other for the purpose of communication and data sharing.

Technology – Under this policy, technology is a comprehensive term including, but not limited to, all computers, projectors, televisions, DVD players, stereo or sound systems, digital media players, gaming consoles, gaming devices, cell phones, personal digital assistants, CDs, DVDs, camcorders, calculators, scanners, printers, cameras, external and/or portable hard drives, modem, Ethernet cables, servers, wireless cards, routers, and the Internet. School technology refers to all technology owned and/or operated by the school.

Users – For the purposes of this policy, user is an inclusive term meaning anyone who utilizes or attempts to utilize, whether by hardware and/or software, technology owned by the school. This includes students, faculty members, staff members, parents, and any visitor to the campus. Personally Owned Device User – For the purposes of this policy, personally owned device user refers to anyone who utilizes their own technology on property owned or controlled by the school or at a school sponsored event.

PDA – PDA stands for personal digital assistant which is an electronic device which provides some of the functions of a computer, a cell phone, a music player, and a camera. Intellectual Property – Any intangible asset that consist of human knowledge and ideas, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; ideas, discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs.

Acceptable Uses Section

Purposes and use Expectations for Technology

Students may utilize school technologies for some recreational uses, keeping in mind that school technology resources are both shared and finite. These resources include, but are not limited to, disk space, bandwidth, CPU time and effort, printers, faxes, software and workstations.

Allowable recreational uses of school technology include:

  • Playing appropriate and non-offensive games
  • Non-school-related research
  • Communicating with friends and/or family members
  • Using voice over Internet technologies
  • Updating profiles or accounts on social networking websites
  • Looking at pictures
  • Similar activities that do not otherwise violate school policy

If your recreational use interferes with another’s educational use, you will be asked to refrain from your activity or engage in your activity in a specified time.

 

Personal Responsibility

We expect our students to act responsibly and thoughtfully when it comes to using technology. Technology is a finite, shared resource offered by the school to its students. Students bear the burden of responsibility to inquire with the IT Department or other school administrator when they are unsure of the permissibility of a particular use of technology prior to engaging in the use.

If you receive anything, on any device that violates school policy, you have the responsibility to report it.

 

Unacceptable Uses of Technology Section

Cell Phones and PDA’s Cell phones and PDA’s are permitted on campus, and are only to be used during class time when prompted by the teacher. No cell phones are allowed on MSA network. We do not recommend using your cell phone’s calculator feature. Should you need a calculator, talk with your teacher or advisor. All cell phones should be registered in the Student Life office.

 

Social Networking and Website Usage

Students may access their profiles or accounts on social networking websites through the school’s technology, but only after the academic day unless otherwise instructed by a teacher. Social networks, gaming sites and international sites may be accessed.

 

This access is subject to monitoring and surveillance. Students may be asked for their login and password at any time. The school retains the right to log into students accounts for any reason deemed necessary to ensure the safety of our community.

 

Facebook – please see an attachment to this policy for recommendations on safe settings and use of Facebook. Please report any unacceptable comments made on the Miller School of Albemarle Facebook page.

Students are not permitted to access from a school-owned computer or through the school’s technology any photography sharing websites including, but not limited to, Photo Bucket, Webshots, Flickr, and Fotki. Students are not permitted to access from the school’s technology any dating or rating websites

Do not access material that is offensive, profane, or obscene including pornography and hate literature. Hate literature is anything written with the intention to degrade, intimidate, incite violence, or incite prejudicial action against an individual or a group based on race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, gender identity, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, political views, socioeconomic class, occupation, or appearance (such as height, weight, and hair color).

Communication: Instant Messaging, E-mail, Posting, Blogs

Inappropriate communication is prohibited in any public messages, private messages, and material posted online by students. Inappropriate communication includes, but is not limited to the following: obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, or disrespectful language or images typed, posted, or spoken by students; information that could cause damage to an individual or the school community or create the danger of disruption of the academic environment; personal attacks, including prejudicial or discriminatory attacks; harassment (persistently acting in a manner that distresses or annoys another person) or stalking of others; knowingly or recklessly posting false or defamatory information about a person or organization; and communication that promotes the destruction of property, including the acquisition or creation of weapons or other destructive devices. If you are told by another person to stop sending communications, you must stop. Students may not utilize any technology to harass, demean, humiliate, intimidate, embarrass, or annoy their classmates or others in the community. This is unacceptable student behavior known as cyberbullying and will not be tolerated. Any cyber-bullying, on or off-campus, that is determined to substantially disrupt the safety and/or well-being of the school is subject to disciplinary action.

Do not post or send chain letters or spam. Spamming is sending an unnecessary and unsolicited message to a large group of people. Spamming can occur through e-mails, instant messages, or text messages.

Intellectual Property, Academic Honesty, Personal Integrity and Plagiarism

Do not claim or imply that someone else’s work, image, text, music, or video is your own. This is plagiarism and will not be tolerated. Plagiarism is also when you incorporated a piece of someone else’s 39 work into your own without giving them appropriate credit. All students are expected to maintain academic honesty. Do not pretend to be someone else online or use someone else’s identity without express permission from the person and/or his/her parent/guardian if he/she is a minor. Do not use, post, or make accessible to others the intellectual property; including, but not limited to text, photographs, and video; of someone other than yourself. This includes intellectual property that you were given permission to use personally, but not publically. This behavior violated school policy as well as state and federal laws.

A work or item is copyrighted when, among other issues, one person or one group owns the exclusive right to reproduce the work or item. Songs, videos, pictures, images, and documents can all be copyrighted. Copyright infringement is when you violate copyright law and use or reproduce something without the authority to do so. Make sure to appropriately cite all materials used in your work. Do not utilize someone else’s work without proper permission.

Data and Gaming Devices

Students are allowed to bring their personal iPods, MP3 players, CD players, DVD players, or other similar data-accessing devices onto campus, but are not allowed to utilize these devices during the academic hours.

Students may bring personal video game systems onto campus, but these devices may only be turned on and played during non-academic hours.

Students may play video games using the school’s technology, but may only utilize 10 MB at any given moment. The network will automatically throttle down to 56K speed when 10MB has been exceeded.

Students may not use school-owned computers to play computer games.

Downloads and File Sharing

Students may never download, add, or install new programs, software, or hardware onto school-owned computers. Downloading sound and video files onto school-owned computers is also prohibited. This prohibited applies even if the download is saved to a removable hard drive.

Students may never configure their school computer or personally owned computer to engage in illegal file sharing. The school will cooperate fully with the appropriate authorities should illegal behavior be conducted by students.

The likelihood of accidentally downloading a virus or spyware when downloading music and movies is very high; therefore students may not download any sound or video files onto their personally-owned technological devices through the school’s technology. Students also may not download any computer game files or attachments from unknown senders.

Commercial and Political

Use of Commercial use of school technology is prohibited. Students may not use school technology to sell, purchase, or barter any products or services. Students may not resell their network resources to others, included, but not limited to, disk storage space. The school is not responsible for any damages, injuries, and/or claims resulting from violations of responsible use of technology. Students who are engaged in fund-raising campaigns for school sponsored events and causes must seek permission from the Director of Student Life before using technology resources to solicit funds for their event.

Political use of school technology is prohibited without prior, specific permission from a school administrator or advisor. Students may not use school technology to campaign for/against, fundraise for, endorse, support, and criticize or otherwise be involved with political candidates, campaigns or causes.

Respect for the Privacy of Others and Personal Safety

Our school is a community and as such, community members must respect the privacy of others. Do not intentionally seek information on, obtain copies of, or modify files, other data, or passwords belonging to others. Do not misrepresent or assume the identity of others. Do not re-post information that was sent to you privately without the permission of the person who sent you the information. Do not post private information about another person. Do not use another person’s account. If you have been given an account with special privileges, do not use that account outside of the terms with which you were given access to that account.

Do not voluntarily post private information about yourself online, including your name, your age, your school name, your address, your phone number, or other identifying information. Our school prides itself on its reputation for excellence; therefore, you may not use the school’s name, logo, mascot or other likeness or representation on a non-school website without express permission from our institution. This includes pictures of anyone wearing clothes with the school name, crest, emblem, or logo. This also includes listing our school name or our employees on a social networking profile, a dating website profile, or a rating website such as; RateMyTeacher.com or RateMyCoach.com.

Computer Settings and Computer Labs

Students are not permitted to alter, change, modify, repair, or reconfigure settings on their own computer or other technology device with the intent to hide unacceptable or illegal use of their own devices. This includes deleting cookies and history and re-setting the time and/or date on the computer.

Purposefully spreading or facilitating the spread of a computer virus or other harmful computer program is prohibited.

Food and drink are prohibited in school computer labs. Students may not eat or drink while using any school-owned computers or other technologies.

Students may not circumvent any system security measures. The use of websites to tunnel around firewalls and filtering software is expressly prohibited. The use of websites to anonymize the user is also prohibited. The use of websites, both domestic and international, to circumvent any school policy is prohibited. Students may not alter the settings on a computer in such a way that the virus protection software would be disabled. Students are not to try to guess passwords. Students may not simultaneously log in to more than one computer with one account. Students are not to access any 41 secured files, resources, or administrative areas of the school network without express permission or the proper authority.

No policy can detail all possible examples of unacceptable behavior related to technology use. Our school technology users are expected to understand that the same rules, guidelines, and policies that apply to non-technology related student behavior also apply to technology-related student behavior. Our school technology users are expected to use their best judgment when it comes to making decisions related to the use of all technology and the Internet. If there is ever an issue about which you are unsure, ask a member of the Technology Department for assistance.

Response Section

The school’s network and other administrators shall have broad authority to interpret and apply these policies. Violators of our technology policies will be provided with notice and opportunity to be heard in the manner set forth in the School Handbook, unless an issue is so severe that notice is either not possible or not prudent in the determination of the school administrators. Restrictions may be placed on violator’s use of school technologies and privileges related to technology use may be revoked entirely pending any hearing to protect the safety and well-being of our community. Violators may also be subject to discipline or other consequences within the school’s discretion. Our school cooperates fully with local, state, and/or federal officials in any investigations related to illegal activities conducted on school property or through school technologies. School authorities have the right to confiscate personally-owned technological devices that are in violation or used in violation of school policies.

If you accidentally access inappropriate information or if someone sends you inappropriate information, you should immediately tell a member of the Technology Department so as to prove that you did not deliberately access inappropriate information.

If you witness someone else either deliberately or accidentally access inappropriate information or use technology in a way that violates this policy, you must report the incident to a school administrator as soon as possible. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action. The school retains the right to suspend service, accounts, and access to data, including student files and any other stored data, without notice to the student if it is deemed that a threat exists to the integrity of the school network or other safety concern to the school.

 

School Liability

The school cannot and does not guarantee that the functions and services provided by and through our technology will be problem free. The school is not responsible for any damages students may suffer, including but not limited to, loss of data or interruptions of service. The school is not responsible for the accuracy or the quality of the information obtained through school technologies. Although the school filters content obtained through school technologies, the school is not responsible for student’s exposure to “unacceptable” information nor is the school responsible for misinformation. The school is not responsible for financial obligations arising through the use of school technologies.

 

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