Digital Technology and Cybersafety
Digital technology has a vital role in teaching and learning, running our workplaces, and our daily lives. Many of our students are digital natives, and we are committed to creating digital citizens. We value our internet facilities and ICT digital technology equipment and the benefits they bring us in teaching and learning and the effective operation of the school.
This policy applies to every member of the school community using digital technology equipment, including staff, students, volunteers, trainees, contractors, special visitors, and board members. Digital technology equipment includes computers, tablets, storage devices, cameras, cellphones, gaming consoles, smart watches, video/audio devices, and other similar devices. This policy applies to digital technology owned by the school, or owned privately and used at school or any other location for a school-based activity. It also includes off-site access to the school network.
We actively encourage our students to use digital technology confidently and competently by learning how to keep themselves safe online and manage challenges and issues, including understanding and meeting privacy and copyright laws, and protecting digital devices and equipment. As defined by Netsafe, a digital citizen:
- is a confident and capable user of ICT
- uses technologies to participate in educational, cultural, and economic activities
- uses and develops critical thinking skills in cyberspace
- is literate in the language, symbols, and texts of digital technologies
- is aware of ICT challenges and can manage them effectively
- uses ICT to relate to others in positive, meaningful ways
- demonstrates honesty and integrity and ethical behaviour in their use of digital technology
- respects the concepts of privacy and freedom of speech in a digital world
- contributes and actively promotes the values of digital citizenship.
In keeping with our Health, Safety, and Welfare policy, we follow procedures to guide our use of the internet, mobile phones, and other digital devices and equipment. We maintain a cybersafe school environment by:
- educating students, staff, and the school community about the safe and responsible use of information and communication technologies
- ensuring that the school's ICT network, hardware, and software is effectively maintained and secure, including content filtering (safe searches) – see Computer Security and Cybersecurity
- using helpful resources, such as those provided by Netsafe
- allowing for professional development and training for staff
- setting and sharing clear guidelines about acceptable and unacceptable use of the technology, and monitoring these guidelines
- following clear guidelines about publishing student information online
- having a clear process for dealing with breaches of the policy or agreements, including any incidents of cyberbullying – see Responding to Digital Incidents
- following guidelines for the surrender and retention of digital devices
- ensuring that members of the school community understand the policy, and commit to it by signing the appropriate use agreement which outlines requirements and expectations
- reviewing use agreements annually.
The school maintains the right to monitor, access, and review digital technology use, including email use, and to audit material on school equipment. The school may also ask to audit privately-owned digital devices/equipment used on the school site or at any school-related activity. The school may use a third party, such as N4L, to monitor school internet use. This may include browsing history.
The school follows Privacy Guidelines .
The safety of students is of paramount concern. We take any apparent breach of cybersafety seriously and respond using our guidelines for Responding to Digital Incidents and Concerns and Complaints, as appropriate. In serious incidents, we seek advice from an appropriate source, such as Netsafe, the New Zealand School Trustees Association, and/or a lawyer with specialist knowledge in this area. Special attention is paid to the need for specific procedures regarding the gathering of evidence in potentially serious cases. If illegal material or activities are suspected, the matter may need to be reported to the relevant law enforcement agency.
- Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015
- Privacy Act 2020