Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Appropriate Use of Technology

Hello Parents,

It was brought to my attention that students were using technology outside of school hours to communicate in a less than polite manner. This is just a reminder to check in every once in awhile to see what they are up to online. If you do see something that you think I need to know about, feel free to share it with. Screen shot it so I can get all the details in case it gets erased.

To keep you informed, we do not use Google Hangouts as a learning tool in grade 5 at all. Hangout is like Skype and is a way to video conference. We would use this with other schools or with people outside St Anne. Some students in grade 6 use it in the evenings to work on projects together. I am unable to watch students who are having a Hangout unless I am a part of it. If I am monitoring their online activity, I can see that they have one open and will shut it down on them. I will tell them that I know they had it open and ask who they were chatting with (as I can't see that info either).  It has happened a handful of times and usually it was just that it was on, but they weren't video chatting with anyone. Luckily, they are very quick to let me know if someone is doing something online they shouldn't be.

It is also not something that we set up for them or have asked them to use. Google Apps For Education is what the students have for the school accounts and we cannot remove or add certain Google tools to it. Hangout is a part of my teacher account but I am not sure it is there for students. Some students have said they downloaded it and added it to their account. It is a possibility that they had it and used it in grade 4.

When using Google Docs, there is a chat-messenger function thats purpose is for collaboration. This would be something we would use with students in other classes if we were doing shared projects. This has not happened this year. Unless I am the owner of the document that was sent to students, I cannot see on my computer if they are chatting. For instance, student A created a Doc and shared it with student B. A and B started chatting so only those 2 can see what they are saying to each other.

If either A or B shared the Doc with me, then I can see their chat log and join in. If I shared the Doc with student A or B and they started chatting, then it would pop up on my screen and I would be able to see and join in.  I have limited ability to see when these go on but, they are very infrequent as most Docs come directly from me.

If they are using gmail accounts outside of their OCSB student account, then I can't monitor anything.

Mme Caminiti and I often lock students into just one website during class so that they don't wander onto other sites and get off task. Through Hapara, we can view each tab and the screen a student is currently on. We often put this main screen on the Smartboard so they know we are monitoring their use.

In the afternoon class, they were given reminders on using these tools properly. We also reviewed online safety and reporting cyber bullying to an adult.  A discussion will be held with the morning class as well.

I hope this answers all questions.

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