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Managing communication technology in schools

Communication technologies such as mobile phones, email, internet instant messaging programs such as MSN messenger, web blogs and social networking websites such as MySpace are now an indispensable part of social life for many young people.

However the use of these communication technologies at school, unmonitored, can be disruptive and potentially unsafe. Access to the internet within schools is also carefully managed, with inappropriate sites blocked, either locally or centrally. Schools can request changes to blocked or unblocked sites (either temporarily or permanently) to ensure these filters are appropriate for each setting.

There are two departmental procedures in place for managing the use of communication technologies at schools.

In consultation with the school community, schools may develop procedures addressing the acceptable use of mobile telephones, pagers, portable CD and MP3 players, Personal Digital Assistants and similar electronic devices by students at school or during school-related activities (including school excursions, camps and extra-curricula activities).

School computer operating environments and networks have restrictions, firewalls and monitoring on which programs and websites can be accessed from school computers (for example, restricting or banning the use of certain websites such as MySpace and Hotmail).

Communication technologies can also be used as part of bullying or 'cyber-bullying' behaviour, which can possibly lead to violence. When developing their school's Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students Microsoft® Word document555K, schools may incorporate the possible use of mobile telephones as a means of bullying.

Information for schools about cyber-bullying is available from the Bullying. No Way! External Link website.

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This page was last reviewed on 26 Jul 2012 at 02:43PM

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