Oconee County Schools (OCS) strives to make advanced technology tools and resources available to students and staff. These efforts support engagement in the classroom and prepare students for today’s world.
The purpose of this document is to enumerate acceptable and list unacceptable uses of the school’s technology resources and to educate staff and students about their responsibilities. Although some specific examples of prohibited uses by users are stated, they are intended as illustrations only and do not purport to be an all-inclusive list of inappropriate behaviors. The technology resources covered by this agreement include all computers, devices, and networks owned and/or operated by OCS, whether accessed from home or school, and any privately owned devices used on the OCS network or at an OCS campus/activity.
PROPER AND ETHICAL USE: With technological learning tools, users must understand and practice proper and ethical use. All OCS personnel must read and agree regarding procedures, ethics, and security in using school system provided technology resources.
This usage agreement must be available to all parents and students.
- Acceptable Use
The purpose of OCS technology resources is to support adopted curricula by providing access to unique and current information resources. To continue to have access to the school system technology resources, your use must be consistent with the approved educational objectives of OCS. Use for personal activities is generally not acceptable. Use for commercial activities, product advertisement, or political lobbying is expressly prohibited.
Inappropriate use, including any violation of the procedures in this agreement, may result in cancellation of your access and disciplinary action. The building principal or designee, under this agreement, is delegated the authority to determine appropriate use and may restrict any user’s access at any time.
OCS reserves the right to review any material stored and transmitted with school system technology or on school provided network resources. This monitoring is intended to determine whether specific uses of the network are appropriate.
Employees: School issued cell phone records are monitored and available to public inquiry. Abuse of cell phone minutes may be cause for disciplinary action. Using personal cell phones and personal email accounts to conduct school business may be subject to open records requests. All electronic communications should be conducted through your OCS account. All email communications with students should be through their OCS student accounts.
- Network Etiquette
You are expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette. These include but are not limited to the following:
- Be polite and use appropriate language
- Use of technology resources to circulate chain letters and pyramid schemes is not permitted
- Deceptive communication, in which your messages appear to come from another specific person, is never allowed
- Do not use technology resources in such a way that you would disrupt other users (sounds and/or excessive bandwidth usage, e.g., radio/audio streaming, video streaming)
OCS makes no warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, for the technology resources it is providing. OCS will not be responsible for any damages you suffer. This includes loss of data resulting from hard drive failures, mail delays, no-deliveries, or service interruptions caused by system negligence or by your errors or omissions. Use of any information obtained via the Internet is at your own risk. OCS specifically denies any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through its technology resources.
Students: OCS may not at any time be held responsible for any loss or damage to a student’s personal device. Students bring devices at their own risk. Help and support will not be provided for personal devices.
OCS has a differentiated filtering system for employees and students which filters access to resources by unique ID. Everyone is held accountable for actions taken under their login. Password are to be kept confidential and protected. The unauthorized disclosure of a password can be a criminal offense under O.C.G.A. § 16-9-93, which is the Georgia law that defines computer crimes. You are accountable for all actions taken under your login. No one should log on to the network using another person’s ID. If you find a station logged in, log off and then log in with your own credentials. All employees and students must lock their computer when not in direct view of the workstation
Electronic communications are not guaranteed to be private. All electronic transactions are monitored by OCS and are subject to open records requests and if requested in connection with a lawsuit or other legal proceeding
Students: If you identify any security problem on a computer or the OCS network, you must notify a teacher so it will be reported to the Technology Department. Do not demonstrate the problem to other users. If there is reasonable suspicion to believe that students have violated school policies, regulations, or guidelines, OCS may examine students' devices brought on school property or on school-sponsored activities and search their contents.
Employees: OCS employees may not use their login to give another person access to a networked resource, as this may provide access to an inappropriate level of information. Employees must password-protect or encrypt all student information stored on laptops, USB drives, or other portable storage devices.
- Vandalism and Harassmen
Vandalism and harassment will result in cancellation of your privileges.
Vandalism is defined as any malicious attempt to harm, modify, or destroy data or hardware. This includes but is not limited to modifying settings or installing malicious software. If you have information regarding a case of vandalism, report it to a teacher or administrator
Harassment is defined as the persistent annoyance of another user, or interference with another user’s work, including unwanted electronic communications and uninvited amorous or sexual. Harassment should be reported to the appropriate person: teacher, counselor, school administrator, or Human Resources Department.
Cyberbullying is the transmission by any electronic communications that has the effect of bullying another student, including but not limited to sending email or text messages, or making website positions (e.g., postings on Face Book, Twitter, Instagram, You Tube, etc.). This prohibition applies to cyberbullying that occurs on campus and, under the circumstances outlined in Code 29: Bullying, to cyberbullying that occurs off campus (see Code 30 of the Student Behavior Code). When evidence of cyberbullying is reported to school officials, an investigation will be promptly conducted by the school's administration and notification will be given to the parents of all parties involved. Discipline will be imposed as warranted by the Student Behavior Code. If you believe that you have been a target of cyberbullying, please contact a teacher or counselor. Law enforcement will be contacted when the act of cyberbullying involves physical assault or battery on another student or school employee.
- Procedures for Use of the Internet
Staff and students of OCS may connect their personal wireless devices to the system network. By using the OCS network, you accept the terms of this agreement. Personal devices are not to be connected to the wired network.
Students: Student users must always get permission from their teachers before using the network or accessing any specific file or application. All students with personal wireless devices must use the district provided wireless, which is filtered according to the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requirements. The use of personal devices is at the discretion of the principal and at the direction of the teacher in the classroom. Students are not to use non-district wireless service providers to get around any rules while on district property.
When using a school-owned device outside the Oconee network, be aware that the internet access is not filtered. Be careful with your web browsing. Employees are reminded that parents must agree in writing to monitor internet access on school-owned devices.
- Encounter of Controversial Material
You may encounter material that is controversial and that users, parents, teachers, or administrators may consider inappropriate or offensive. It is your responsibility not to initiate access to such material or circumvent any filtering software.
Any decision by OCS to restrict access to internet material shall not impose any duty on the system to regulate the content of material on the Internet. OCS has implemented measures to be in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act. If you have received controversial material through electronic communications, do not forward or duplicate it in any form. Notify your teacher or building administration.
During class time, each student's access to, and use of, approved technology resources (personal and district provided) will be directly under the teacher's direction and monitored as a regular instructional activity. (During non-instructional times on campus, students may use their approved technology resources but must remain in compliance with this agreement.) At no time should a teacher's direction supersede the intention of the district's filtering system in blocking certain internet sites.
Employees: Staff should enforce the rules concerning appropriate use of technology resources. If staff members become aware of student violations, they should correct the student and address the matter in accordance with this agreement and the Board of Education’s general disciplinary policies and procedures. Observed staff violations of this agreement should be reported to the appropriate administrator.
All users must respect the copyrights of works accessible through technology resources connected to the network.
Do not make copies of copyrighted music, video, and/or software without permission of the copyright owner. Users may not install software or apps on OCS owned and operated computers without evidence of a valid software license.
- Publishing Online
OCS provides web publishing mediums for all teachers: Moodle, Blogs, Edmodo, Google Sites, etc. Any site that represents OCS in any capacity not hosted on system servers cannot be linked to or referenced by teachers UNLESS the school system has been granted administrative permissions to such an external site. OCS retains full editorial control of any site.
- All posts must be moderated
- All web publishing should strive for the highest standards of grammar and conventions; any outside references should be appropriately cited
- All web pages should be in support of the classroom and school mission
- Online publishing must follow all FERPA guidelines and be ADA compliant
- Any copyrighted materials must be posted within password-protected areas
- Individual teachers will review their student's material before publication outside the school community; the quality and completeness of any published work should be such that both student and teacher are proud that a larger audience can experience it
- District-sponsored teacher pages must link back to campus websites; campus websites must link to district sites
- All websites should maintain current information
- Names and contact information of staff persons or volunteers maintaining the page should be readily accessible to technology personnel
- Each page will post this disclaimer: "Any link beyond this website does not constitute an endorsement by Oconee County Schools. Oconee County Schools takes no responsibility for and exercises no control over the organizations, views, or accuracy of the information presented by other sites. If you have difficulty accessing anything on this site, please call 706-769-5130."
- Safety Guidelines
Students: Parents/Guardians may elect to restrict publication of information about you including posting in standard and electronic publications such as the Internet, by signing the Consent to Publish Media Standard Release and the Directory Information Consent found in the OCS handbook.
- Pictures, videos, or other media that include the heads of students, as well as student work, should be posted online only if a Consent to Publish Media Standard Release has been signed by parents
- The Superintendent will authorize the release of directory information only when it serves the best interest of the student(s). (See JR-E(l)).Unless parents opt out, OCS may publish the following directory information:
- Student’s name, address, telephone listing, e-mail address, photograph, date and place of birth
- Major field of study
- Dates of attendance
- Grade level
- Student's participation in officially recognized school activities and sports
- Weight and height of athletes
- Diplomas, certificates, awards, and honors received
Note: All works of authorship are copyrightable by Oconee County Schools (OCS) under the terms of an Attribution- ShareAlike Creative Commons Public License. Under this license, OCS permits anyone to copy, distribute, display, and perform the blog content, royalty-free, on the condition that they credit authorship and OCS each time they do so. OCS also permits others to distribute derivative works of student/staff content, but only if they do so under the same Attribution-ShareAlike license that governs the original content. For more information on Creative Commons, visit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0/legalcode
PENALTIES FOR IMPROPER USE
Crimes which involve the inappropriate use of a computer are defined in O.C.G.A. § 16-9-93 and include (1) computer theft, (2) computer trespass, (3) computer invasion of privacy, (4) computer forgery, and (5) unauthorized disclosure of a password or further means of access to a computer or computer network.
In addition, there is a specific law against electronic distribution of obscene material to minors (O.C.G.A. 16-12-100.1).
Federal law (18 USC 1030) provides for fines and imprisonment up to 20 years for unauthorized or fraudulent use of computers that are used by or for the federal government, which includes many of the computers on the Internet, and for unauthorized disclosure of passwords and similar information when this affects interstate commerce. (Recall that email, as well as long-distance phone calls, constitute interstate commerce and thus fall under this law.)
The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (18 USC 2701-2709) and other wiretap laws prohibit unauthorized interception of electronic communications, including electronic mail.
You must also obey laws against private use of state property, divulging confidential educational records, copyright infringement, fraud, slander, libel, harassment, and obscenity. Laws against obscene or harassing telephone calls apply to computers that are accessed by telephone.
The Georgia Open Records Act applies to information stored in technology resources. This act gives citizens the right to obtain copies of public records, including any record prepared, received, or maintained by OCS in the course of its operations. Some kinds of records are exempt; among these are student records (including tests and homework), medical records, confidential hiring evaluations, trade secrets, and material whose disclosure would violate copyright laws.
The following is a supplement to the agreement above in order to help parents/guardians explain the TUA to their child.
Ways to use technology at school
Your school has computers, SMART Boards, and other technology tools to help you learn. Technology at school is only used for this purpose and should not be used to play games that are not educational. Your teacher must give you permission to use technology, and you must only use it in the way your teacher tells you to use it.
You may lose your permission to use technology if you choose not to follow technology use rules. Your teacher or principal may tell you that you may no longer use the computers, SMART Boards, or other technology in the school.
Teachers can see what you do on computers
Your teachers may watch everything you do on the computer and can look back at what you have done, even if you have left the computer.
- Use nice words when typing messages on the computer or writing on the SMART Board
- Only teachers should make changes to the way the computer screen looks
- Only print when your teacher has given you permission to print
OCS has no responsibility for a student's personal device if stolen or damaged on school system property; off school system property while attending a school activity, function, or event; or en route to or from school or school-related activities. Help and support will not be provided by personal devices.
Your teacher will tell you how and when to save your work. Sometimes work on computers is accidentally lost. If your work is lost and cannot be found, you may not blame your teacher or school.
You may only use websites that your teacher has said for you to use.
Bad things on the computer screen
If you see something bad on the computer screen, turn off the monitor and tell your teacher.
Intermediate Level (3-5) Technology Use
Your school has computers, SMART Boards, and other technology tools to help you learn. If your school and teacher allow, you may bring personal devices to school. Technology at school is only used to help you learn and should not be used to play games that are not educational. Your teacher must give you permission to use technology (including any BYOT devices), and you must only use it in the way your teacher tells you to use it.
If you choose not to follow technology use rules, your teacher or principal may tell you that you may no longer use the computers, SMART Boards, or other technology in the school.
Your teachers may watch everything you do on the computer and may look back at what you have done, even after you have left or logged off the computer.
- Be polite and use appropriate language when typing on the computer or writing on the SMART Board
- Only teachers should make changes to a computer's settings
- Only print when your teacher has given you permission to print
OCS has no responsibility for a student's personal device if stolen or damaged on school system property; off school system property while attending a school activity, function, or event; or en route to or from school or school-related activities. Help and support will not be provided for personal devices.
Your teacher will tell you how and when to save your work. Sometimes work on computers is accidentally lost. If your work is lost and cannot be found, you may not blame your teacher or school for the loss.
You may only use websites that your teacher has said you can use. You may only conduct internet searches for topics that have been assigned by your teacher.
Bad things on the computer screen
If you see something bad on the computer screen (monitor), turn off the monitor and tell your teacher. Do not show other students.
Your password is confidential and should be protected. Giving someone your password can be a crime under Georgia law. No one should log on to the network using another person’s ID. You are accountable for all actions taken under your login.
Take care of technology equipment
You should always treat the technology equipment with care. Do not break or write on technology devices. If you have information regarding a case of vandalism, report it to your teacher.
Cyberbullying is defined as any electronic communication that hurts someone’s feelings on purpose. If you feel that someone has said something hurtful to you on the computer, speak with a teacher or counselor
Do not make copies of copyrighted music, video, and (or) software without permission of the copyright owner. It is illegal to copy a picture, video, or music file without the permission of the owner.