ICT & Acceptable Usage - tinahely national school

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ICT & Acceptable Usage

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Tinahely National School

ICT and Acceptable Usage Policy, 2012


Placement of Computers:

It is our policy to keep our 36 notebooks in the school hall where they are available to each child at certain times during the week.

ICT Statement of Tinahely N.S.:

As well as being an important educational resource, the ability to use ICT effectively is a vital life skill in modern society. Our aim is to produce learners (pupils and teachers) who are confident and effective users of ICT. We strive to achieve this aim by:

Helping all teachers and pupils to explore the learning resources provided by ICT.all children to use ICT with purpose and enjoymentall children to develop the necessary skills to exploit ICT.children to become autonomous users of ICTall children to evaluate the benefits of ICT and its impact on societyICT to develop partnerships beyond the schoolsuccess in the use of ICTall children to nurture a like for ICT and a pride in their achievements/publications.children with learning difficulties cultivate a higher self esteem through the use of computers.provide the children with an alternative learning resources


Rational for Tinahely N.S . – Why does our school require ICT?

We feel that our school needs ICT for the following reasons:

To provide the best possible education for all our pupilsprovide a powerful and up to date teaching resource for all our teachers
To allow for more effective administrationhelp provide more effective communication with parents in the future.
To communicate with teachers and pupils in Europe and further afield.prepare children for life in a technologically advanced workplace.
To supply a different means of teaching instead of "Chalk and talk"keep up to date with the most modern teaching methods.
To provide the students with a means to publish their own work in a professional manner.provide the student with a research tool that will be of use to them during their whole life.
To aid all children in producing works of which they will be proud.


ICT and the Curriculum:

The Primary School Curriculum lists the following as its principles of learning:

The child's sense of wonder and natural curiosity is a primary motivating factor in learningchild is an active agent in his/her learningis developmental in nature.child's existing knowledge and experience form the base for learningchild's immediate environment provides the context for learningshould involve guided activity and discovery methodsis central to the learning processchild should perceive the aesthetic dimension in learningand emotional dimension are important factors in leaning
The use of ICT can enhance many of these principles.
Advantages of ICT:
The most up to date information may be accessed speedilyof work is greatly enhancedwith special needs are greatly empowered though use of ICTcomputer has endless patience when used for drill and practice applicationscomputer can allow for individual differences, and can tailor programmes to the child's progresschildren find computers a fascinating and fun source of learningcomputer can supply children with a view outside the classroom.computer provides the children with a different learning environment.data projector means that children can view Internet and research information as a class.data projector can also be used for power point presentations at school meetings as well as for educational DVD's or videos.computer classes also supply children with an essential skill for today's working life. Camera shots contextualize the child's life and experience within their learning.

Disadvantages of ICT:


There are major financial implications in equipping a school with ICToverload is an ever present problemof ICT to a school greatly increases the workload, and thereby the stress levels of the teachersneed to continually update their ICT skillsare open to viruses and even with 'net nanny 'software can sometimes still be susceptible to harmful images.


Safety, Security and Behaviour Issues:


With regard to the Internet, an Acceptable Use policy has been in place for many years and has served the school well. Children only use computers while supervised and the school uses the Schools’ Broadband service, which has a stringent “net nanny”. Students are not permitted to access social networking or shopping sites.computer trolleys are stored in a secure cupboard with a combination lock whose code is only known by the teachers in the school. Teachers must ensure that computers are safely locked away after use.computers are numbered and each child is assigned a specific computer for his / her own use at the start of each academic year. This ensures easy traceability if there is damage to a computer or inappropriate use.and drinking while using the computer are forbidden, and desk space should be tidy with no food, liquid or other items (clay, glue etc.) present while the computer is being used.ICT equipment such as digital cameras may only be used under supervision.equipment may not be removed from the school except with the permission of the Board of Management. Exception: Digital cameras may be taken on school trips.


Special Educational Needs:


As a school we are deeply committed to providing the best possible learning experiences for children with special educational needs. ICT has an important role to play in this commitment, as it facilitates deep engagement with the curriculum and caters for a variety of learning styles. Laptops are available in the Special Class, the Resource and the Learning Support rooms and children are facilitated to use them extensively, as well as having access to the notebook computers, Lego technology, interactive whiteboards, etc. when integrated in the mainstream classes. The Board of Management is happy to fund the purchase of special software or other equipment as necessary.

Staff Development:


The current members of staff have received extensive training on the use and educational application of ICT. In addition, the staff members regularly contribute to each other’s professional development in ICT through advice, demonstration and informal discussion. At a recent staff meeting it was agreed that some time from staff meetings could be devoted to staff members demonstrating aspects of their ICT expertise.

Review of ICT Policy:


As ICT is such a valuable tool for learning and curriculum implementation, its use is continuously under review by the teaching staff. Matters such as the website, new software, Digital Hub projects, time-tabling, or difficulties with equipment are discussed at almost every staff meeting.

A formal review and updating of the policy will be undertaken every four years or when the need arises by the staff. The aim of this review will be to ensure that the potential for ICT is maximised in the school and that the considerable funds invested are not wasted. The Board of Management will discuss the outcome of such reviews and ratify them as it sees fit.


Acceptable Usage Policy


The aim of this Acceptable Usage Policy is to ensure that pupils will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s Internet resources in a safe and effective manner. Internet use and access is considered a school resource and privilege. Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP - will be imposed.

It is envisaged that the AUP will be revised regularly as the need arises. Before signing, the AUP should be read carefully to ensure that the conditions of use are accepted and understood.





School’s Strategy:


The school will employ a number of strategies in order to maximise learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the Internet. These strategies are as follows:

General:

Internet sessions will always be supervised by a teacher.software and/or equivalent systems will be sued in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.school will regularly monitor pupil’s Internet usage.protection software will be used and updated on a regular basis.use of personal USB keys or CD-Rom’s in school requires a teacher’s permission.will observe good ‘netiquett’ (i.e. etiquette on the Internet) at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute.

World Wide Web:


Students will not visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.
Students will use the Internet for educational purposes only.
Students will be familiar with copyright issued relating to online learning.
Students will never disclose or publicise personal information.
Students will be aware that any usage, including distributing or receiving information, school-related or personal, may be monitored for unusual activity, security and/or network management reasons.

Email:


Students will use approved class email accounts under supervision by or permission from a teacher.will not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person. will not reveal their own or other people’s personal details, such as addresses, telephone numbers or pictures.will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they only know through emails or the Internet.will note that sending and receiving email attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.

Internet Chat:


Students will only have access to chat rooms, discussion forums or other electronic communication forums that have been approved by the school.rooms, discussion forums and other electronic communication forums will only be used for educational purposes and will always be supervised.will be used to avoid disclosure of identity.meetings with someone organised via Internet chat will be forbidden.

School Website:


Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the World Wide Web.publication of student work will be co-ordinated by a teacher.’s work will appear in an educational context on web pages with a copyright notice prohibiting the copying of such work without express written permission.pupil information including home addresses and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.will continue to own the copyright on any work published.

Sanctions:


The use of technology resources inside Tinahely N.S. is a privilege.Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action, including written warning, withdrawal of access privileges and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.

This policy will be reviewed by the BoM every 4 years, or as new legislation dictates. All partners will be informed of any amendments necessary after such a review.

 
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