Internet Acceptable Use Policy

Internet Acceptable Usage Policy

Educationalists believe in the benefits of curriculum-based internet use. The purpose of the Internet Acceptable Usage Policy is to ensure that pupils will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s internet resources, and will be protected from harmful and illegal use of the Internet.

St. Joseph’s National School will employ a number of strategies to maximise learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the Internet.

These strategies are as follows:

  1. Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP)
  2. Education
  3. Filtering/Monitoring

Sanctions

If a pupil deliberately misuses the internet or email, this will result in disciplinary action, including the withdrawal of access privileges. Parents/guardians will receive written notification of misuse by a pupil.

Internet

  1. Internet will be used for educational purposes only
  2. Internet sessions will always be supervised by a teacher
  3. Pupils will seek permission before entering any Internet site, unless previously approved by a teacher
  4. Filtering software will be used to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material
  5. The school will regularly monitor pupils’ internet usage
  6. Pupils will receive training in the area of internet safety
  7. Pupils will be taught to evaluate the content of internet sites
  8. Teachers will be made aware of internet safety issues
  9. Uploading and downloading of non-approved material is banned
  10. Virus protection software will be used and updated on a regular basis
  11. The use of personal floppy disks, external storage devices or CD-ROMS in school requires a teacher’s permission
  12. Pupils will observe good “netiquette” (etiquette on the internet) at all times and will not undertake any action that may bring a school into disrepute
  13. ‘YouTube’ (and similar sites) can be accessed only under the supervision and direction of the teacher.

Email

If pupils are allowed to use email, the following rules will apply:

  1. Email will be used for educational purposes only
  2. Students will only use approved class email accounts under supervision by or permission from a teacher
  3. Pupils will not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate any St. Joseph’s National School person.
  4. Pupils will not send text messages to or from school email
  5. Pupils will not reveal their own or other people’s personal details e.g. addresses, telephone numbers, or pictures via school email
  6. Pupils will never arrange to meet someone via school email
  7. Sending or receiving email attachments is subject to teacher permission.

Internet Chat

Students are not permitted to use internet chat rooms.

School Website and Twitter Account

Designated teachers will manage the publication of material on the school website.

  1. Personal pupil information, home addresses and contact details will not be published on the school website or twitter account.
  2. Class lists will not be published.
  3. Pupils’ full names will not be published beside their photograph.
  4. Digital photographs, video clips and audio clips will focus on groups and group activities rather than on individual pupils.
  5. Pupils will be given an opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the school website.
  6. Teachers will select work to be published and decide on the appropriateness of such.
  7. Permission to publish a student’s work will be sought from pupils/ parents/ guardians. This permission may be withdrawn at any time.
  8. Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published.

Education

St. Joseph’s National School will undertake an education programme to educate children on the safe, responsible use of the Internet.

21st century life presents dangers including violence, racism and exploitation from which children and young people need to be protected. At the same time they need to learn to recognise and avoid these risks – to become internet wise.

Resources that may be used to implement this programme include

  • NCTE Internet Safety Awareness Video
  • Use of the ‘Kids’ section on the www.webwise.ie website
  • SAFT Internet Safety Awareness Education Programme and exemplars

Filtering

‘Filtering’ is a term used to describe a way of limiting the content of web pages, emails, chat rooms and other electronic data to which users may be exposed. No filter is 100% accurate. The most effective filtering tool is adult vigilance.

Many browsers have their own built in filtering tool e.g. Google. Google’s search engine has a built-in “Safe Search”. This filter eliminates sites that contain pornography and explicit sexual content from search results. It is easily applied by clicking on the Preferences link on any Google page. Unfortunately it is also easily removed.

St. Joseph’s National School has filtering software. The access to websites from all school computers is monitored and regularly reviewed by the NCCA. Websites are only allowed through following a verification of their suitability.

Firewalls

Windows XP has a built-in firewall. Firewall software can be purchased or downloaded free from the Internet. St. Joseph’s National School has installed firewall software.

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