To ensure that all students and members of our school community understand:
- our commitment to providing students with the opportunity to benefit from digital technologies to support and enhance learning and development at school, including our 1-to-1 iPad program and individual augmentative alternative communication device program (AAC).
- expected student behaviour when using digital technologies including the internet, social media, and digital devices, including computers
- the school’s commitment to promoting safe, responsible and discerning use of digital technologies, and educating students on appropriate responses to any dangers or threats to wellbeing that they may encounter when using the internet and digital technologies
- our school’s policies and procedures for responding to inappropriate student behaviour on digital technologies and the internet
This policy applies to all students at Frankston Special Developmental School (SDS).
Staff use of technology is also governed by the following Department policies:
- Acceptable Use Policy for ICT Resources
- Cybersafety and Responsible Use of Digital Technologies
- Digital Learning in Schools and
- Social Media Use to Support Student Learning.
Staff also follow Frankston SDS’ Sexting and Cyber Bullying Policy.
Staff, volunteers and school councillors also need to adhere to codes of conduct relevant to their respective roles. These codes include:
- Frankston Special Developmental Schools Child Safety Code of Conduct
- The Victorian Teaching Profession Code of Conduct (teaching staff)
- Code of Conduct for Victorian Sector Employees (staff)
- Code of Conduct for Directors of Victorian Public Entities (school councillors)
For the purpose of this policy, “digital technologies” are defined as digital devices, tools, applications and systems that students and teachers use for learning and teaching; this includes Department-provided software and locally sourced devices, tools and systems.
Vision for digital technology at our school
The use of digital technologies is a mandated component of the Victorian Curriculum A-10.
Frankston SDS understands that safe and appropriate use of digital technologies including the internet, apps, computers and tablets can provide students with rich opportunities to support learning and development in a range of ways.
Digital technologies enable our students to interact with and create high quality content, resources and tools. It also enables personalised learning tailored to students’ particular needs and interests and provides alternatives for assessment, reporting and feedback.
Frankston SDS believes that the use of digital technologies at school allows the development of valuable skills such as communication and social competencies and prepares students to have more independence across all aspects of their lives. Our school’s vision is to empower students to use digital technologies to reach their personal best and fully equip them to contribute positively to society as happy, healthy young adults.
iPads at Frankston SDS
Every student at Frankston SDS from prep to school leaving is entitled to use a school-issued iPad during school hours within each term. Families are required to pay an annual amount of $50 per iPad as outlined on the Parent Payment Policy. The annual payment contributes to the implementation costs involved in running the program.
Students must bring their charged iPad to school each day to be used during class time for a range of targeted learning activities including communication.
Students and families are required to ensure that the iPad remains in a protective case and is used responsibly at home.
Families are responsible for covering the cost of repair as a result of damage and loss of school issued iPads.
Safe and appropriate use of digital technologies
Digital technology, if not used appropriately, may present risks to users’ safety or wellbeing. At Frankston SDS, we are committed to educating all students to use digital technologies safely, equipping students with the skills and knowledge to navigate the digital world.
At Frankston SDS we:
- use online sites and digital tools that support students’ learning, and focus our use of digital technologies on being learning-centred and both educationally and developmentally appropriate
- supervise and support students using digital technologies in the classroom
- effectively and efficiently address any issues or incidents that have the potential to impact on the wellbeing of our students
- educate our students to use digital technologies safely and responsibly in alignment with School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support and I Can Be Independent protective behaviour programs including the importance of online privacy
- actively educate and remind students of our Student Engagement policy that outlines our School’s values and expected student behaviour, including online behaviours
- use clear protocols and procedures to protect students working in online spaces, which includes reviewing the safety and appropriateness of online tools and communities and removing offensive content at the earliest opportunity
- educate our students on appropriate responses to any dangers or threats to wellbeing that they may encounter when using the internet and other digital technologies
- provide a filtered internet service at school to block access to inappropriate content
- refer suspected illegal online acts to the relevant law enforcement authority for investigation
- support parents and carers to understand the safe and responsible use of digital technologies and the strategies that can be implemented at home through regular updates in our newsletter, information sheets, website/school portal and information sessions.
Information on supervision arrangements for students engaging in digital learning activities is available in our Yard Duty and Supervision Policy.
Social media use
Our school follows the Department’s policy on Social Media Use to Support Learning to ensure social media is used safely and appropriately in student learning and to ensure appropriate parent notification occurs or, where required, consent is sought. Where the student activity is visible to the public, it requires consent.
In accordance with the Department’s policy on social media, staff will not ‘friend’ or ‘follow’ a student on a personal social media account or accept a ‘friend’ request from a student using a personal social media account unless it is objectively appropriate, for example where the student is also a family member of the staff.
If a staff member of our school becomes aware that a student at the school is ‘following’ them on a personal social media account, Department policy requires the staff member to ask the student to ‘unfollow’ them, and to notify the school and/or parent or carer if the student does not do so.
Student behavioural expectations
When using digital technologies, students are expected to behave in a way that is consistent with Frankston SDS’s Statement of Values, Student Wellbeing and Engagement policy, and Bullying Prevention policy (see website).
When a student acts in breach of the behaviour standards of our school community (including cyberbullying, using digital technologies to harass, threaten or intimidate, or viewing/posting/sharing of inappropriate or unlawful content), Frankston SDS will institute a staged response, consistent with our student engagement and behaviour policies.
Breaches of this policy by students can result in a number of consequences which will depend on the severity of the breach and the context of the situation. This includes:
- removal of network access privileges
- removal of internet access privileges
- other consequences as outlined in the school’s Student Wellbeing and Engagement and Bullying Prevention
This policy will be communicated to our school community in the following ways:
- Available publicly on our school’s website
- Included in staff induction and child safety training processes
- Discussed at staff briefings/meetings as required
- Made available in hard copy from school administration upon request
POLICY REVIEW AND APPROVAL
Policy last reviewed
Principal and School Council 15 August 2022
Next scheduled review date