Acceptable Use Policy

Acceptable Use Policy

iPad AUP & FAQ

Outline of Document

  1. Introduction
  2. The Internet
  3. The Unity School’s Local Area Network
  4. The Unity School Acceptable Use Policy
    1. Network Resources
    2. Network Warning
    3. General Policy and Guidelines
    4. GUIDELINE I: ACCEPTABLE USE
    5. GUIDELINE II: UNACCEPTABLE USE
    6. GUIDELINE III: E-MAIL ETIQUETTE
    7. GUIDELINE IV: CLASSROOM ACCOUNTS
    8. GUIDELINE V: GROUP CONFERENCING
    9. GUIDELINE VI: ACCOUNT RESPONSIBILITY
    10. GUIDELINE VII: COMPUTER VIRUSES
    11. GUIDELINE VIII: NETWORK MANAGEMENT AND PRIVACY
  5. Expected Behavior
    1. Plagiarism
    2. Copyright
  6. Getting Started
  7. Who is Watching?
  8. School Conduct Codes
  9. Moral and Ethical Issues
  10. Electronic Libraries
  11. Electronic Field Trips
  12. Disciplinary Action
    1. Consequences of Violations
    2. Remedies and Recourses

I. INTRODUCTION

Welcome to Unity School’s local area network and internet gateway. From Unity School you will be able to travel all over the world to gather information. As more people travel this electronic highway, maps to find information and rules to keep traveling safely become vital to successfully completing the journey. The first and most important rule is that all student activity on the Internet must be supervised by a teacher, administrator, or other designated Unity School employee.

Internet access, through the Unity School’s area network, is a powerful educational resource which will allow you to find information in this world-wide electronic network. You will be able to connect to and correspond with businesses, major universities, national libraries, other schools, and other students around the world.

Just as you learn social codes and behaviors which are acceptable at school, you must learn the correct procedures and rules for using this network of information services. We require all students to adhere to these guidelines. If you break any of these rules, depending upon the nature of the infraction or the cumulative number of infractions, you may not be allowed to continue to use the system in addition to further action by the school.

Upon entering the Middle School, you and your parents or legal guardians, will be required to sign the attached Unity School Consent and Waiver Signature Form. This form indicates that you are aware of the school rules and proper procedures for using the Internet and the Unity School local area network and the consequences which will result if these rules are broken. By signing this form you are agreeing to comply with the rules and policies listed herein. This signed statement becomes your permission slip to take trips on the information highway.

II. THE INTERNET

The Internet is a global technology network made up of many smaller contributing networks to support the open exchange of information among many different kinds of institutions all over the world. This system gives immediate access to information. It’s like being able to open any book in any library from your computer. You can view and/or print articles, documents, and pictures to review current facts about news, weather, and sports that you may use in your classes.

III. THE UNITY SCHOOL’S LOCAL AREA NETWORK

Unity School’s technology plan has been to implement a campus wide network providing Intranet and Internet access. The Unity School network makes sharing information and communicating with each other, as well as the rest of the world, possible. This network supports activities which have educational value for administrators, teachers, and students.

IV. THE UNITY SCHOOL ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY (SECTIONS IV – XII)

A. Network Resources

The Internet serves as an electronic highway connecting thousands of computers and millions of individual subscribers all over the world. Students, teachers, and administrators have access to:

  • Worldwide electronic mail services
  • Global information and news
  • The opportunity to correspond with other institutions
  • Public domain and shareware computer software of all types
  • Discussion groups on a wide range of topics ranging from cultures and the environment to music and politics
  • Many Florida university and community college library catalogs as well as others from around the world

B. Network Warning

Along with access to computers and people all over the world comes the availability of material that may not be considered to be of educational value in the context of the school setting. There may be some material, individual contacts, or communications which are not suitable for school-aged children. Unity School views information retrieval from the network in the same capacity as information retrieval from reference materials identified by schools.

Specifically, Unity School supports those activities and materials which will enhance the research and inquiry of the learner with directed guidance from faculty and staff. However, on a global network it is impossible to control all materials, and an industrious user may discover inappropriate information. At school, each student’s access to and use of the network will be under the teacher’s direction and monitored as a regular instructional activity.

C. General Policy and Guidelines

It is a general policy that Unity School’s network facilities are to be used in a responsible, efficient, ethical, and legal manner. Users must acknowledge their understanding of the general policy and guidelines as a condition of receiving a network account. Failure to adhere to the policy and guidelines may result in suspending or revoking the offender’s privilege of access.

GUIDELINE I: ACCEPTABLE USE

Acceptable uses of the network are activities which support teaching and learning. Students are encouraged to develop uses which meet their individual needs and which take advantage of the network’s functions including: electronic mail, group conferencing, bulletin boards, databases, and Internet access.

GUIDELINE II: UNACCEPTABLE USE

Unacceptable uses of the network include:

  1. Using profanity, obscenity, or other language which may be offensive to another user
  2. Reposting personal communications without the author’s prior consent
  3. Copying commercial software or other copyright protected material in violation of copyright law
  4. Using the network for financial gain or for any commercial or illegal activity

GUIDELINE III: E-MAIL ETIQUETTE

Users should practice E-mail etiquette by:

  1. Making subject headings as descriptive as possible
  2. Beginning messages with a salutation
  3. Restating the question or issue being addressed in a response
  4. Choosing words carefully to avoid misunderstandings, keeping in mind that electronic text is devoid of any context clues which convey shades of irony, sarcasm, or harmless humor
  5. Ending messages with a signature and, if desired, your own E-mail or post office address

GUIDELINE IV: CLASSROOM ACCOUNTS

Sponsors of classroom accounts (Unity School teachers or staff) are responsible for teaching proper techniques and standards for participation, for guiding student access to appropriate sections of the network, and for assuring that students understand that if they misuse the network they will lose their privileges to use classroom accounts. Particular concerns include issues of privacy, copyright infringement, E-mail etiquette, and the approved and intended use of Telnet resources.

GUIDELINE V: GROUP CONFERENCING

Conference moderators (Unity School teachers or staff) are responsible for monitoring the content and tone of posted messages and for taking steps to delete offensive material and/or return it to its author for revision.

GUIDELINE VI: ACCOUNT RESPONSIBILITY

The person in whose name an account is issued is responsible at all times for its proper use.

GUIDELINE VII: COMPUTER VIRUSES

Students must avoid knowingly or inadvertently spreading computer viruses. Do not upload files from unknown sources. Deliberate attempts to degrade or disrupt system performance will be viewed as criminal activity under applicable state and federal law.

GUIDELINE VIII: NETWORK MANAGEMENT AND PRIVACY

The Unity School network management accepts no responsibility for harm caused directly or indirectly by its use. Never consider electronic communications to be completely private.

V. EXPECTED BEHAVIOR

You the student, are expected to use the network to pursue intellectual activities, seek resources, access libraries, and find international friends. We want you to explore this new “space” and discover what is available there. This resource is new to all of us. We want you to learn new things and share that newfound knowledge with your friends, parents, and teachers.

When you are using the computer network and communicating with others in remote or even close locations, think carefully about what you say and how you say it. Keep the following in mind:

  1. You cannot see them.
  2. You cannot tell how old they are or what sex they are.
  3. They can tell you anything, and you cannot always be sure that what they are telling you is true.
  4. Absolute privacy cannot be guaranteed in a network environment.

For your own safety and for the safety of others, remember to exercise caution when you are communicating with people in the outside world. Do not give out your home phone number or your address to anyone. They do not need to have that information. If you feel there is a problem or if you feel uncomfortable with the information someone is giving you, tell your school site administrator, teacher, or technology representative immediately.

By the same token, you may not harass other users. You do not want to run the risk of breaking the law by bothering other people. If a user on the network asks that you no longer send him/her mail or in any other way contact him/her, you are obliged to stop all contact immediately. You may feel you have the right of freedom of expression, but others have the right to be free from harassment.

A. Plagiarism

The dictionary defines plagiarism as “taking ideas or writings from another person and offering them as your own.” The student who leads readers to believe that what they are reading is the student’s original work when it is not is guilty of plagiarism. Credit should always be given to the person who created the article or idea.

Be careful when you are using the Internet. Cutting and pasting ideas into your own document is very easy to do, therefore be sure to give credit to the author. If you do this, your teacher will know which ideas are yours, and you won’t be guilty of plagiarism.

B. Copyright

Copyright is another issue. According to the Federal Copyright Act of 1976, “Fair Use” means that you may freely use any information that you legally find on the Internet as long as you do so only for scholarly purposes. You may not plagiarize or sell what you find.

Suppose, for example, that you find a copy of Microsoft Works on the Internet. Can you legally copy it? The answer is NO. It is copyrighted software. You have to purchase software packages before you can legally use them. Suppose you find an article about the use of Microsoft Works on the Internet. Can you legally copy it? The answer is yes, as long as you give credit to the author and do not sell the article for profit.

VI. GETTING STARTED

Before you begin to use these exciting new research tools, it is important to your parents, teachers, and school administrators that you understand the many consequences of the new computer connections that you wish to make. It is important that you understand that your use of this powerful educational tool is a privilege. It can provide you with countless hours of exploration and use, but like a driver’s license, it is a privilege that can be taken from you for breaking the rules. The Internet does include some material that is not suitable for students. The intent of the Unity School, in providing Internet access, is that it be used only for purposes which are consistent with the school’s curriculum. Therefore, anyone who uses the network illegally or improperly will lose the privilege of using it. Additionally, you cannot use the network for commercial or for-profit services. This document will detail the proper way to use this communication tool.

VII. WHO IS WATCHING?

The Internet is a public place. You must always remember that you are sharing this space with many other users. Potentially, millions of individuals may be interacting across the network at the same time. Your actions can be monitored by others on the network. If you use a particular service on the network, chances are that someone knows the connections that you are making, knows about the computer shareware that you have borrowed, and knows what you looked at while you were in the system.

Because these connections are granted to you as part of the larger scope of the curriculum, Unity School reserves the right to monitor all traffic on the network. We do this to make sure that the network continues to function properly for all of its users.

VIII. SCHOOL CONDUCT CODES

Unity School has behavior codes and student handbooks for all students that detail appropriate school behavior, outline rights, and set expectations for students. Because the network is used as part of a school activity, the school’s code of conduct applies to network activities as well. These rules apply to vandalism of computer equipment, unauthorized access to information, computer piracy, and tampering with hardware or software. Other types of damage and information loss to a computer system may be caused by viruses. If you are responsible for a computer becoming infected with a virus, you could be held liable. These rules further apply to the electronic use of harassing and abusive or obscene language. You may not use the network to annoy, harass, or offend other people.

IX. MORAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES

The moral and ethical issues involving the use of world-wide information systems deal with the appropriate access to information, the type of information accessed, and the behavior of the student. Unity School wants to provide you with a stimulating educational environment, but at the same time we want to protect you from information that is not appropriate for student use.

Unity School wants you to use this valuable educational tool, but at the same time we cannot condone the use of inappropriate information on the Internet. We acknowledge the fact that these materials exist and do everything we can to actively avoid them including using filtering software. However, we cannot weed out all of the materials that are unacceptable for academic purposes, and it should be clearly understood by all students that access to such material in any form is strictly forbidden. The network is designed to achieve and support instructional goals and any information that does not support classroom learning is to be avoided.

The actual percentage of unacceptable or inaccurate materials is small but unfortunately growing, and is a cause for concern among students, parents, and teachers. If you or a fellow student stumble onto such information while doing legitimate research, you should contact your teacher or the person responsible for technology at your school site for appropriate action.

X. ELECTRONIC LIBRARIES

Guidelines for access to information have been established in the Federal Library Bill of Rights of 1980. These principles can be applied to the Internet. School libraries are required to build collections of resources which support the curriculum and which are consistent with the philosophy, goals, and objectives of Unity School. This means that students have the right to information, but the school has the right to restrict any information that does not apply to the approved curriculum.

It is not farfetched to consider the Internet as a vast digital library. The electronic-database and information-search tools it uses are rapidly becoming part of school media centers and libraries, and many public libraries are beginning to offer some type of network access as part of their services. Unity School is beginning to provide just such a connection to establish direct access to the appropriate materials that support curricular concerns.

XI. ELECTRONIC FIELD TRIPS

The Internet and the Unity School local area network offer many opportunities for “electronic field trips” to distant locations. Unity School considers all connections to remote locations as field trips. Therefore, the rules that apply to student conduct on field trips apply to these electronic field trips as well. It is important that you realize you are acting as an ambassador for your school. Just as parental/guardian permission slips are required before you may take field trips, your parents or legal guardians have to give you permission for electronic field trips by signing the attached Unity School Consent and Waiver form.

XII. DISCIPLINARY ACTION

Unity School declares unethical and unacceptable behavior as just cause for disciplinary action, the revocation of network access privileges, and/or the initiation of legal action for any activity through which an individual student:

  1. Uses the Unity School network for illegal, inappropriate, or obscene purposes, or in support of such activities. Illegal activities shall be defined as a violation of local, state, and/or federal laws. Inappropriate use shall be defined as a violation of the intended use of the network, and/or purpose and goal. Obscene activities shall be defined as a violation of generally accepted social standards for use of a publicly-owned and operated communication vehicle.
  2. Uses the Unity School network for any illegal activity, including violation of copyrights or other contracts violating such matters as institutional or third-party copyright, license agreements, and/or other contracts.
  3. Intentionally disrupts network traffic or crashes the network and connected systems.
  4. Degrades or disrupts equipment or system performance.
  5. Uses the Unity School network or equipment for commercial or financial gain or fraud.
  6. Steals data, equipment, or intellectual property.
  7. Gains or seeks to gain unauthorized access to resources or entities.
  8. Forges electronic mail messages, or uses an account owned by another user.
  9. Invades the privacy of individuals.
  10. Posts anonymous messages.
  11. Creates, distributes, or purposely activates a computer virus.
  12. Uses the Unity School network to send or request racist, inflammatory, or sexist messages.
  13. Sends or requests messages or documents that are inconsistent with Unity School’s polices, guidelines, or codes of conduct.
  14. Possesses any data which might be considered a violation of these rules in print, magnetic (disk), or any other form.

A. Consequences of Violations

Possible consequences of violations include but are not limited to:

  1. Suspension of Internet access.
  2. Revocation of Internet access.
  3. Suspension of Unity School network privileges.
  4. Revocation of Unity School network privileges.
  5. Suspension of computer access.
  6. Revocation of computer access.
  7. School suspension.
  8. School expulsion.
  9. Legal action and prosecution by the proper authorities.

B. Remedies and Recourses

If a student is accused of any of the violations listed above, you have all of the rights and privileges that you would have if you were subject to any other type of disciplinary action.

Unity School has the right to restrict or terminate network and Internet access at any time for any reason. Further, Unity School has the right to monitor network activity, in any form that they see fit, in order to maintain the integrity of the network.


For a copy of the Unity School Consent & Waiver From, please contact the Unity School Office (561-276-4414).

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