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Internet Safety

It is important that any educator who uses the technology have an in-depth understanding of the potential dangers that the Internet poses and what can be done to protect students from these dangers. Armed with this information, teachers can both protect their students as well as educate the public to the benefits of the technology.

Acceptable Use Policies (AUP) - These are basically "contracts" that outline how students can use the technology, what they cannot do with it and the consequences for violating the policy. These should include school web pages and the content that is allowed on them. AUPs should be signed by an authorized representative of the school, students and parents so that all concerned parties are aware of the policy.

No Student Names - We recommend that when referring to students on a web page that either their names not be used or only their first names be posted. Some schools have found the use of "nicknames" to be an effective way of dealing with this issue.

Student Pictures - Although we do encourage the posting of student work that may include student pictures, we strongly encourage teachers to get written permission to post student pictures and work before placing it onto the web. We have found that most schools already have such permission slips for use when pictures are placed in newspapers. These can often be re-worded to cover the issue of posting to the web.

School or Classroom Web Pages - It is important that teachers and students recognize that a web site that refers to their school or district represents them in cyberspace just as a school newsletter or yearbook represents the school in their community. Because of this they need to respect the interests of the schools system and post only appropriate materials to the web site. What is "appropriate" regarding content should be clearly defined in the schools' AUP.

These policies adheres to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998.

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