A LETTER TO PARENTS
The following is a sample letter to parents re appropriate technology usage in the classroom.
Technology is an integral part of every student’s education in today’s classroom. Many of you have expressed concern regarding the use of technology in the classroom. The following is meant to clarify my classroom policies and provide you with a better understanding of specifically how technology is used.
The use of technology in the classroom is a privilege, not a right. If, at any time, the use of technology is abused, the teacher has the right to revoke those privileges. The following are my general guidelines:
- Cell phones, headphones and other electronic devices are allowed in the classroom but may only be used if permitted by the teacher. The use of these devices may be for educational purposes only. If a student is not following the specific instructions given by the teacher with regards to these devices, the teacher has the right to temporarily confiscate the student’s devise until the end of the class period. The teacher also has the right to restrict usage altogether if defiant behavior persists.
- Complete privacy should not be assumed. Any information shared through the school’s internet network or through school issued programs can be accessed by teachers, staff and administration at any time. For safety regulations, school officials are permitted to monitor all online activity.
- Peer privacy and privacy from the general public will be enforced through the cautious exchange of information. In order to deter unauthorized viewing of private information, students should never share passwords, social security numbers, school identification numbers or any other sensitive / secure information.
- Netiquette should be upheld. Students are expected to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner when online. This includes using acceptable language, choosing inoffensive avatars and screen names, properly citing authors and artists, and avoiding plagiarism.
- Cyber bullying, harassment, hacking, bypassing firewalls, changing passwords, spreading computer viruses, impersonating someone else, gambling, viewing or creating online content related to pornography, drugs, alcohol, guns, weapons, or gangs is strictly prohibited.
- The school has blocked access to certain social networking sites such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat in order to deter students from being distracted by these sites during class time. Should students use their private cell phone provider network to access this information while on campus, neither the teacher nor the school can be held responsible for any inappropriate content that is viewed while doing so.
- Vandalism is strictly forbidden. Students should not vandalize technological equipment or another person’s data. No malicious acts will be tolerated.
Technology in the classroom brings with it many positive aspects as well. My classroom fosters:
- A space where students create new ideas and contribute positively to the digital community through the use of technology.
- Collaboration, imagination, inventiveness, critical thinking, and deductive reasoning skills through the use of technology.
- A wide variety of platforms, software, freeware, firmware and hardware that students can use to design, develop, produce and invent fresh and original educational works.
For more information on the use of technology in the classroom please visit the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) website. A link to their website can be found below.
ISTE Standards. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/standards
Patrick, S. and Worthen, M. (2014). The iNACOL State Policy Frameworks: 5 Critical Issues to Transform K-12 Education. Retrieved from http://www.inacol.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/iNACOL-State-Policy-Frameworks-5-Critical-Issues-to-Transform-K12-Education-Nov2014.pdf
Perrott, E. (2011). Copyright in the Classroom: Why Comprehensive Copyright Education Is Necessary in United States K-12 Education Curriculum. Intellectual Property Brief 2, no. 3 (2011): 5-18. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1058&context=ipbrief
Privacy Technical Assistance Center (n.d). Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services: Requirements and Best Practices. Retrieved from https://tech.ed.gov/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Student-Privacy-and-Online-Educational-Services-February-2014.pdf
Learn More About the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
ISTE is an invaluable resource on the standards of technology usage in education today.