Acceptable Use of Personal Technology at JTT
We know that there are benefits and drawbacks to our connection to technology. Technology connects us with people around the world; it supports collaborative problem solving; it helps us to see the effects of our actions a world away; and it helps us to learn from each other. On the other hand, many studies show that it is addictive; it can create barriers between people as we reduce actual face time; and it makes it easy for us to say hurtful, thoughtless, or in-the-moment things that we instantly regret...but can’t take back. If you can, take a moment to look at the following video to gain some insight into what is happening to people when they are constantly connected to their devices.
After careful consideration, we do not believe that banning cellphones completely for all students is the path to appropriate use for our students. Instead, education about digital citizenship and personal awareness is what will help us make better and healthier use of our technology. This education begins with our Health Curriculum as early as Grade 4 and each subsequent year as well as conversations in our classrooms every day. To this end, we have created very clear expectations about the use of personal devices here at John T Tuck for students, educators, and parents so our students can focus on their academic growth.
Acceptable Use Guidelines for Personal Technology at JTT - Grades K-5
Should you feel that your child requires a personal device for the way to and from school, these devices should remain in a student’s backpack throughout the day. With the high level of access to technology for our primary and early junior students, and the early stages of their digital literacy, students in these grades do not need personal devices for any academic reason. If there are special circumstances for your child, we require you to have that conversation with your child’s classroom teacher.
Acceptable Use Guidelines for Personal Technology at JTT - Grades 6-8
Students in Grades 6, 7 and 8 are not required to bring a personal device to school. However, they may bring devices to school under the following circumstances:
- Students shall have their devices turned off and in their lockers/backpacks at all times, unless explicitly requested by a teacher to bring the device to class to enhance the learning experience.
- There may be times when teachers may encourage students to use their own devices for academic purposes such as research, calculating, translating, virtual reality and/or coding. Students will typically know at least one day in advance should a device be allowed for an assignment. We understand that many students do not have personal devices. At school, we will ensure that they will have appropriate access to all the school technology needed in order to complete any assignments, and personal technology will never be a requirement for a student to access the curriculum. Personal devices are only ever to be used for educational purposes, and may not be used at lunch time or in the hallway between classes.
- Students will be expected to understand that personal devices brought to school are his/her own responsibility. Administration and teachers will attempt to solve the problem of lost, broken, or stolen phones however, replacement costs are the responsibility of the student who owns it.
- Students are able to quickly check for a message from their parent at their locker, while getting their lunch at nutrition break, or after school. The device would then stay in their locker and not be brought into the classroom during break.
- Students are not to be using their devices in unsupervised or less supervised areas (i.e., halls, stairwells, change rooms, bathrooms). Never, at any time, are students to take pictures, video, or audio recordings of students or staff during the school day unless prior approval has been set up as part of an assignment during which the teacher will supervise.
Parents, you can help us by supporting and modelling appropriate use of technology in order to encourage your child to focus on academics in school. Parents are requested to:
- Refrain from texting your children throughout the day, and call the office for emergency messages to be relayed. If your child texts you during class time, please respond with “please go to the office, talk to an adult there and use the office phones.” Trust us. When you text your child during class time and or accept texts from them, you are implicitly teaching them that they do not have to pay attention in class, or use the adults in the building to help them problem solve.
- Buy a calculator for your child to use in Math class.
- Make after school arrangements with your children in advance.
- Remind your children of the appropriate uses of technology and social media, while reviewing and monitoring their online activity outside of school hours.
- Encourage your child to keep his/her personal device locked/secure when at school and to not share their combinations or passwords with anyone else.
- Counsel their children that devices brought to school are their responsibility. If items are lost, broken, or stolen, the school will do everything it can to help find it and/or solve the problem, but in the end, the replacement cost rests with the student who owns it.
At John T Tuck we follow a progressive discipline model which encourages teaching and learning as the basis for changing behaviour. However, if students continue to make inappropriate use of their devices despite clear expectations being outlined, consequences could include:
- The teacher will direct that the device be put away by either placing it on the teacher’s desk or in the student’s locker, or take it to the office to be held in a secure location.
- The teacher will call home to indicate that device use in the classroom is becoming a problem.
- If the problem is ongoing, an Administrator will call home to indicate that the device in the classroom is a problem and will recommend that the device not return to school for a period of time and/or require a parent to come into the school to pick up the device.
General Policy About Technology Use For All Students
Outside of the use of personal devices (such as phones), every student at John T Tuck will have contact with and use of instructional technology devices such as chromebooks, desktops, laptops, iPads, etc. From the moment they enter our school, we will be building their digital citizenship skills. If we work together to be on the same page, we can raise technologically smart children who can interact successfully on the global stage. In order for that to happen, teachers, administrators, and parents need to be involved in and responsible for helping our students to understand and be aware of the challenges of working with technology. To that end, all of us together will teach students to:
- not engage in plagiarism or downloading illegal content
- represent their online identity truthfully and only access account(s), information and systems for which they are authorized.
- safeguard their passwords, account information, personal equipment and personal information (i.e. home address, telephone number, work address/telephone number of parents/guardians, or other identifying information such as video, images or the school’s name or address) from unauthorized users - basically don’t share your passwords!
- not post, publish or knowingly download any inappropriate content (e.g., illegal, dishonest, offensive, swearing, racially offensive, sexual, threatening material or content that promotes hatred or harm against any group or person) in the form of text, video, images or music
- not use any device to record audio or to take images or video of staff, students or any person during school hours (including nutrition breaks)
- not engage in social texting or use of social media apps / websites during the school day to connect with peers and/or family using any device
Want to know more? Check out our school board’s site - Technology and You.
Thank you for your support in creating our expectations around technology, and we look forward to working with you in creating responsible digital citizens at our school.