Acceptable Use

For the Middle School, we follow this Acceptable Use Policy. It is explained to the students at the beginning of the year, I do a short review with the 6th grade tech class, and this year we also reviewed it in January with the 7th grade.

 Acceptable Use Policy, 2011-2012

The school’s information technology resources, including email and Internet access, are provided for educational purposes. The laptop issued to students should be considered an extension of the classroom for the purpose of providing access to educational resources.  Adherence to the following policy is necessary for continued access to the school’s technological resources:


Students must
1. Respect and protect the privacy of others.
  • Use only assigned accounts.
  • Not view, use, or copy passwords, data, or networks to which they are not authorized.
  • Not distribute private information about others or themselves.
  • Not publish pictures of others without their consent.

2. Respect and protect the integrity, availability, and security of all electronic resources.

  • Not download or install any application, extension, or software on the school’s laptops.
  • Not store any personal files on the school’s laptop.  Only files associated with school are allowed.
  • Not stream video or audio through the school’s network during work hours without explicit permission from a teacher for a specific educational purpose.
  • Observe all network security practices, as posted.
  • Report security risks or violations to a teacher or network administrator.
  • Not destroy or damage data, laptops, networks, or other resources that do not belong to them.
  • Conserve, protect, and share these resources with other students, faculty, and staff.

3. Respect and protect the intellectual property of others.

  • Not infringe copyrights (no making illegal copies of music, images, games, or movies!).
  • Not plagiarize.

4. Respect and practice the principles of community.

  • Communicate only in ways that are kind and respectful.
  • Report threatening or discomforting materials to a teacher.
  • Not intentionally access, transmit, copy, or create material that violates the school’s code of conduct (such as messages that are threatening, rude, discriminatory, pornographic, or meant to harass).
  • Not send spam, chain letters, or other mass unsolicited mailings.
  • Not use direct communications such as IRC, online chat, or instant messaging during school without a teacher’s explicit permission.
  • Not intentionally access, transmit, copy, or create material that is illegal (such as obscenity, stolen materials, or illegal copies of copyrighted works).
  • Not buy, sell, advertise, or otherwise conduct business, unless approved as a school project.


Students may, if in accord with the policy above

  1. Use the laptop, its software, and the school’s IT resources to communicate, collaborate, and create original works as enrichment or extensions of the school’s curriculum.
  2. Use direct communications such as IRC, online chat, or instant messaging with a teacher’s permission.
  3. Use the resources for any educational purpose.


Consequences for Violation. Violations of these rules may result in disciplinary action, including the loss of a student’s privileges to use the school’s information technology resources.

Supervision and Monitoring. School and network administrators and their authorized employees monitor the use of information technology resources to help ensure that uses are secure and in conformity with this policy. Administrators reserve the right to examine, use, and disclose any data found on the school’s information networks in order to further the health, safety, discipline, or security of any student or other person, or to protect property. They may also use this information in disciplinary actions, and will furnish evidence of crime to law enforcement.

I follow this with my most important messages:

  • Anything you do online is public, repeatable, and permanent: You should be comfortable with seeing it on the screen in gathering
  • Don’t tell anyone else your password (except your parents)
  • Don’t use anyone else’s computer
  • Log out: be wary of autofill passwords
  • Chat is not necessarily with who you think it is (anyone could be looking at the screen, regardless of who is logged in) and nothing is private
  • At higher institutions, the consequences for violation can be expulsion
  • Harassment is never about what you meant
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