Below is a copy of the letter sent home with all my students. The challenge before us is to balance the need to prepare students for their technological future against the need to protect their privacy online, particularly today as our world becomes exponentially networked together.
Please read the information below carefully.
According to the BC Ministry of Education website: “Utilizing emerging technologies to provide expanded learning opportunities is critical to the success of future generations.” In an attempt to address this particular issue, students will be using three different groups of online resources:
- District Maintained – Housed and maintained within the school district for use by school district students and educators. Password protected (e.g. Moodle).
- Provincially-Recommended – LearnNowBC/Elluminate Live are offered by the provincial government.
- Outside of District – Stored or accessed outside of the school district (e.g. WordPress, SlideShare).
Please read the Table of Online Tools (pdf; updated August 24, 2011) for details on each online resource and the privacy/public settings involved. New tools will emerge throughout the year but will follow similar procedures. Please check the Facebook page regularly to see what else we may be using.
Students will be taught not to divulge personal information during the use of online resources and will be asked to use assumed identities when registering on outside-the-district resources (usernames & passwords will be recorded; students are expected to be willing to share this information with you since their accounts are for school work only). No identifiable personal information about a student other than first name will be posted or stored on the homework blog. For accounts where I have no access (i.e. individual accounts created specifically for school on outside-the-district resources), I will supervise classroom use of all tools, but it is the responsibility of the student to upload appropriate material and to delete all work at the end of the course.
I will use all the means at my disposal to supervise student use of online resources during class time to ensure compliance. However, student cooperation is also required to use the resources appropriately, particularly since these tools are accessible from outside the classroom and are often designed to connect easily with social media and personal mobile devices.
Please complete the attached Parental Notification Form and have it returned to me as soon as possible. The At School Authorization Form is for your records only. If permission to use WordPress or any other online resource must be withheld for any reason, the student must see me immediately to make arrangements to submit equivalent assignments using offline resources. In the case of senior computer-based courses, it may be difficult to offer an alternate way of meeting the learning outcomes.
I encourage you to explore this homework site to get a better idea of the resources involved. You are welcome to try the Classroom Tools for yourself. The list is an evolving one. If you have any questions or concerns, please email me (via the CONTACT ME button at the top of the screen) or phone me at the school.