Tips for Using School Technology Wisely
Computers serve as powerful tools to transform and enhance the work we do. Whether working with software programs, using the Internet or sending e-mail, technology can help you on the job and to further your professional development. Technology, however, creates a new set of hazards for education employees. Keep these tips in mind when using school computers:
- Check to see if your district has an acceptable use policy for computers, Internet and e-mail access. Your district might have separate policies for student use and employee use of technology. The policy should define where, when and how long school employees may use school computers and network services.
- Do not access, receive or transmit anything that can be interpreted as obscene or pornographic. Do not use your school’s computers for anything not permitted in the policy.
- Do not use school computers for commercial purposes, such as promoting a summer business you operate.
- Do not expect your e-mail to be private. Do not send anything you wouldn’t want read by your employer. The school district – your employer – owns and controls the e-mail system. Even deleted e-mails can be retrieved, and used in lawsuits. Do not send any confidential or private e-mail at work.
- All confidential student data such as IEPs or grades must be secured, even on a computer. Just as you wouldn’t leave confidential written material in view, don’t leave your computer data unprotected.
- You might be held responsible for inappropriate student use of the Internet or e-mail. Check to see if your district has a “reasonable supervision” standard. It’s impossible to supervise student Internet use at all times. If your district makes you responsible for all student use of the Internet, contact your UniServ Director.