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Responsible Use Policy

The YIS Connected Learning Community (CLC) leverages advanced technologies and progressive teaching approaches to enhance student learning, promote collaboration and facilitate the creation and sharing of knowledge locally and globally. In order to promote responsible digital citizenship and use of technology, students are expected to adhere to the following rules and guidelines. These obligations are also spelled out in the Responsible Use Agreement that each student and his/her parent or guardian must sign in order to use school-issued laptop computers and other devices.

Being a Responsible User

The use of information technology at YIS is focused on educational purposes. However, as these devices can also be used for personal and recreational purposes, it is important that students are aware of the expectations for the use of technology at school. In some cases, students’ behavior is guided by clearly articulated expectations, but in other cases, they must make wise decisions about their own behavior, by a sense of good citizenship and as a responsible member of the YIS community. Students should be aware that these expectations apply to any device used at YIS, even those not provided by the school, such as mobile phones.

Being Prepared to Learn

Being a good digital citizen and a responsible member of the YIS community means students come to school prepared to learn. They must bring their laptop to school each day, in operating condition, with sufficient storage available for school use, and with the battery fully charged. Students should employ careful battery management techniques to ensure that they can get through the school day and participate fully. To ensure that everyone in the class is using the same version of software, students should keep up to date with all updates and new software. File maintenance and backup is also the student’s responsibility. Students should make use of designated folder architecture and file naming protocols defined by their teacher. In addition, the use of devices during lunch will be limited to completing work in designated study areas. Use at school should be limited to installed or online programs that are directly connected to school-related activities, and not involve recreational games, non-academic use of social networking sites or other activities that disrupt studies, peers or classes.

Keeping Health & Balance in Mind

The CLC is meant to be a positive, enriching resource to enhance learning and creativity. However, it is recognized that computers, mobile devices and other technologies can sometimes have a disruptive effect on a person's behavior and well-being. Proper usage of technology should never cause pain, fatigue or other physical or mental ailments. Additionally, while technology can be an engaging way to spend time, it can take up time that could be better used for studying or working with friends. Instead of watching videos and surfing the web, reading a good book or talking with friends and teachers may be a better choice. Students should find a comfort zone that strikes a healthy balance between online and offline activity.

Ethical and Respectful Use

Responsible citizenship means practicing good ethical behavior, whether online or offline. Students are encouraged to model good online citizenship by making sure their actions and choices do not disrupt the learning environment for themselves or others, just like in the classroom. At a minimum, this requires that students not view or install inappropriate content, not try to bypass network guidelines with proxies or Internet access devices, not attempt to hack or modify other student accounts or official school files or accounts, and not engage in any illegal activities, including possessing or sharing pirated software or applications. School-licensed software should also not be copied or removed. Students are expected to obey all intellectual property rules and copyright laws, as well as the YIS Student Email Guidelines, including not sharing or using others’ email accounts or passwords, and not engaging in conversation or activities (such as sending pictures) that may inflame, agitate, or offend others. Students are prohibited from using peer-to-peer file-sharing software, such as BitTorrent, which is primarily used to download illegal content and could jeopardize Internet access for all members of the YIS community. Likewise, hacking and the installation of malicious software on any device used at YIS are specifically banned.

Photography and Videos

While there will certainly be times when taking photographs / videos in a lesson or as part of a club is encouraged as a learning or reflection tool, all students are expected to respect individual privacy. Photos / videos of teachers or other students or work in the classroom should only be taken after permission has been sought and granted by the person / people in the photograph. As a part of this process, students should make it clear what the intended use of the photograph will be. Photos and videos should never be posted on social media or online without permission of the person / people in the photograph. Please note, for Elementary students using Learning Journals (See-Saw), photographs and video will be moderated by teachers and students are working towards learning to ask permission before taking photographs of others.

Protecting Your Identity & Personal Information

With the ubiquity of information networks, safeguarding your personal information is extremely important. Once information goes on the Internet, it is likely that it will remain there for a very long time. Personal information also extends beyond names, phone numbers, student ID numbers and addresses, but to things such as usernames and passwords as well. As such, it is important that students treat their own and others’ personal information with great care. Students should never share user accounts or passwords, especially those that are close to their identity (e.g., email, YIS accounts, social networks). All personal information, such as home addresses, phone numbers and full names, should always be kept private.

Sharing Work Online

Students will be sharing their work in a variety of online spaces and are expected to act safely by keeping personal information private. When they share their work online, they are expected to treat those spaces as classroom spaces. Language or images that are inappropriate for class are not appropriate online. Because students will be sharing their work with real audiences, they may receive feedback that is inappropriate for academic purposes. Regardless of the nature of the feedback, students should respond ethically and responsibly (or not at all). Images or videos of students, or their work, may be published or utilized in various electronic resources, including the school website and other online platforms, as well as in print media, including teaching and school promotional materials. If a student’s work is shared, only the first name and grade will be included as credit. Further information regarding the publishing of student media or work can be found in the YIS Parent Handbook.

Community Awareness

All students are members of the greater YIS community and have a social obligation to protect community resources, such as bandwidth. As such, participating in activities that use up excessive bandwidth, such as peer-to-peer file sharing, is strictly prohibited at school. Additionally, computer use should not be disruptive to other students who are working nearby; students are requested to use headphones when listening to audio. Students may personalize their computer carrying case, but any stickers or other markings should not be offensive to others. They may not remove identifying barcode tags affixed to the device by the IT Department. Students should also be aware that individual teachers will have different protocols for classroom use of devices and it is the student’s responsibility to be aware of these and adhere to them.

Responsibilities of Using School Laptops

Students are responsible for the proper care and maintenance of school-owned devices. For students who are issued individual laptops and as part of the CLC, these obligations are detailed in the Laptop User Agreement and Acceptance Form that each student and their parent or guardian must sign. They include performing all software updates, being responsible for data (including backups), and being careful to not do anything that will void the warranty, such as bringing the device to an unauthorized service center or disassembling it. School defined settings and software should not be modified or removed from the device.

Students should take careful steps to protect their laptop from damage or theft. This includes carrying it only when the lid is closed, using a carrying case when moving between classes, and never having open drinks nearby while using the device. When not in use, the device must be securely locked in the student’s locker or other locked storage area, or kept within sight. It must never be left unattended in open areas, even for a few minutes.

Shared Computers

In addition to school-issued individual laptops, shared laptops are made available to students in some elementary grades as well as a limited number desktop computers for general student use in the library and other areas. Students are responsible for the safekeeping of their own data files and should use their individual or personal storage devices, as these shared devices are regularly erased without notice as a part of an on-going maintenance routine. YIS takes no responsibility for files lost on these public devices.

Monitored Use

In cases where there are concerns that electronic communications systems are being used inappropriately, teachers or IT department staff may monitor student use. Similarly, student use of the school network is monitored on a regular basis. YIS reserves the right to inspect school-issued devices and electronic media, and to carry out appropriate disciplinary action in cases of student misconduct. YIS does not take responsibility for personal media or information transmitted to a third party by a student, nor does it take responsibility for any repercussions that may occur from said action (e.g. posting photos on a social networking website).

Updated June 2018