ICT Policy

ICT Policy

Convent of Mercy, Kanturk

 

Executive Summary

The aim of this policy is to provide a living, ever evolving document outlining the current status of ELearning in our school and the areas that need to be addressed. Information and Communications Technology should have a positive impact on learning in school and the wider community. By assessing our E Learning status, we hope to examine the level of impact ICT has on learning in our school and how we may improve on our current status.  

 

Vision Statement

The E-Learning Vision Statement of The Convent of Mercy, Kanturk, is that there is a learning environment which provides pupils with up-to-date and innovative facilities to foster an understanding and appreciation of technology. As a staff, we encourage a practical, hands-on approach to teaching the basic skills pupils need to become technologically aware and enable them to comfortably use technology in their everyday lives.   

 

Mission Statement

We endeavour to use the resources at our disposal;

  • To promote actively the use of technology as a tool to enhance teaching and learning.

  • To provide all pupils with equal access to modern technologies.

  • To offer lifelong learners the opportunity to avail of the schools resources.

  • To use technology to actively promote our school in the community.

 

School Administration uses

  • To facilitate the smooth and efficient management of the school.

  • To record, store and print plans and policies.

  • To assist in communicating with outside agencies as well as parents and the local community.

  • For the storage and retrieval of school correspondence.

 

Educational Goals

The Introduction to the Primary School Curriculum states: Technological skills are increasingly important for advancement in education, work and leisure. The curriculum integrates ICT into the teaching and learning process and provides children with opportunities to use modern technology to enhance their learning in all subjects Primary School Curriculum 1999 P. 29 (NCCA, 2001, p. i)  

NOTE: ICT is not seen as another school subject but rather as a tool to enhance teaching and learning.

 

Short Term Goals of ICT

  • To introduce pupils from an early age to technological media, beginning in Infants.

  • To provide pupils with the skills needed technology will become an accepted and integral part of everyday life.

  • To provide for all children regular access to the ICT facilities of the school.  

  • To use a variety of educational software.

  • To complete project work using ICT in various ways from research on the Internet to photography using digital cameras.

  • To introduce basic skills for navigating the internet safely.

  • To support all subject areas with ICT.

  • To encourage professional development through the infinite educational resources available.

  • To develop a confidence in the pupils and staff in using ICT.

  • To highlight the benefits and challenges of ICT use.  

  • To use ICT creatively to extend children’s learning.

  • To develop basic keypad skills.

 

Long term Goals of ICT

  • Through using ICT, pupils develop the skills required to research, synthesise and communicate with the technologies used, and in turn, understanding the workings of those technologies.  

  • To enable each child to live a full life as a child in the 21st Century.

  • Pupils should become comfortable and proficient with ICT.

  • To prepare pupils for their further education in Post Primary education and teach them lifelong skills.

  • Pupils will appreciate the value of educational opportunities provided by ICT.

  • That ICT will enhance the learning opportunities of every pupil.

  • To develop a plan to ensure the progression of ICT usage from class to class.  

To ensure progression throughout the child’s time in the Convent of Mercy, Kanturk, children will be scaffolded in their use of ICT facilities and devices, as fully as human and material resources will allow. The breakdown for such objectives are as follows but are subject to change with the professional opinion of the teacher;

Junior and Senior Infants

  • To teach basic ICT skills, e.g. touch screen navigating, accessing applications, control panel familiarity.

  • To use ICT to compliment cross-curricular activities.

First and Second Class

  • To revise and revisit basic skills learned previously, e.g. touch screen navigating, accessing applications, control panel familiarity.

  • To use ICT to compliment cross-curricular activities.

Third and Fourth Class

  • To revise and revisit basic skills learned previously, e.g. touch screen navigating, accessing applications, control panel familiarity.

  • To use ICT and its associated research facilities to inform and embellish project work.

  • To motivate and encourage the pupils to engage in and record their creative writing activities, including poetry and short stories.

  • Use of internet search engines/educational websites under supervision.

Fifth and Sixth Class

  • To revise and revisit basic skills learned previously, e.g. touch screen navigating, accessing applications, control panel familiarity.

  • To encourage proficiency in proof-reading, editing and re-drafting of text.

  • To research project information.

 

Summary of school audit

Presently the school owns a large range of I.T. equipment.  We have created a data list of all the ICT equipment presently in stock.

The growing demands of students and staff for more ICT contact time may lead to the expanding of the present base. Purchasing of new equipment will be done by the BOM in consultation with the principal. This will be guided by the evaluation of the ICT plan and budget constraints. Advice on purchasing will be sought from various areas - parents, community, advisors in the area of technology. Best financial practice will be followed in acquiring additional hardware and software.  

 

ICT Co-ordinator

Margaret Ryan and Dearbhail Kearns  acts as the ICT co-ordinators and are responsible for the maintenance of IT equipment, contacting local IT companies when IT support is needed, organising timetabling of resources and purchasing equipment in collaboration with the Board of Management.  

 

iPad Programme

The school has invested in the purchase of a classroom set of iPads. These are intended for use as an educational tool. It is hoped that they will;

  • Assist pupils in learning how and where to find information.

  • Help to develop the pupils’ skills of analysing and recounting information.

  • Encourage curiosity and excitement in learning about the world.

  • Assist in encouraging co-operative learning.

  • Provide opportunities for group discussion and research.

  • Allow each individual pupil to access his Mathletics programme account on a regular basis.

  • Give pupils first-hand experience in using technology.

  • Allow pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds access technology and the many resources on the internet.   

Each class will have designated times for the use of iPad’s during the week. There will also be discretionary time available should the need arise for additional use of the devices.

Students are not permitted to download any apps without exception.  iPad’s/Tablet’s will have restrictions enabled to prevent access to inappropriate content and only applications deemed educationally appropriate will be downloaded. Teachers are responsible for charging and securely storing these devices on a daily basis. iPad’s should be counted at the beginning and at the end of each session.  Any pupil who mistreats his iPad or who does not cooperate with the class rules during iPad time, will lose his/her privilege. Reinstatement of this will be at the discretion of the Principal/class teacher.

 

Mobile Computer Room

The Convent of Mercy recognises the need for the students to also have first-hand access to technologies. A key method of delivery is that of the provision of a mobile computer room system. Such a system allows pupil’s regular use of iPad’s and a timetable is arranged by the principal to facilitate the balanced use of the iPad.   All ICT equipment is stored securely, yet at the same time accessible to staff members.

 

Professional Development

Due to the ever changing nature of ICT Continuous Professional Development in this area is highly recommended and encouraged in the Convent of Mercy. The staff have taken part in in-School ICT training as part of the Croke Park Agreement. There is also a healthy culture of sharing useful educational resources among staff members. As it is important to keep up to date with technological advances, all efforts to educate staff members on such advancements will be made.

 

Legal Aspects

An Acceptable Usage Policy outlining the conditions of Internet and e-mail use aims to ensure the safety of children while online. The relevant permission form also includes reference to the use of digital images. The school will respect the software copyright laws. All software is licensed. Where data on students is kept the school will comply with the law under the freedom of information acts. This data will be available to relevant persons as requested.

Special Educational Needs

The Convent of Mercy, Kanturk promotes the equality of access to I.C.T. resources for all children irrespective of gender, age, cultural background, Special Educational Needs and learning support. It is evident that “ICT may support more effective achievement of existing educational goals” (NCCA, 2001)   

The school’s I.C.T. resources are used by both the Learning Support Teacher and Resource Teacher for both administration and instruction. Children with writing, reading and/or numeracy needs using ICT to provide alternative and complimentary educational experiences. Class teachers may use ICT to differentiate the curriculum for weaker or gifted pupils.

 

Exceptional Students

ICT is used in all classrooms to challenge and extend the educational opportunities for pupils with above average attainment.

 

Security

The mobile trolley is locked in a storage room and the school is also alarmed. To prevent damage to laptops by virus infection, each machine has anti-virus software installed and anti-virus protection is in place by using the schools Broadband Programme as our Internet service providers.  

 

Maintenance & Support

Maintenance and support is provided by the staff and where applicable local IT expert John O’Keeffe. The staff will monitor computer glitches and problems and record them. When problems cannot be rectified by staff with computer expertise, a local IT expert will be used, following best financial practise, to identify and rectify said issues.

 

Health and Safety

Certain ICT issues will form part of the Health & Safety Policy which will need to be updated. There is a need to highlight procedures for children and teachers on care of equipment, hardware, software and peripherals and the promotion of best practise among staff and pupils when using I.C.T. for example not having food or drink near ICT devices. Teachers and pupils shall familiarise themselves with and implement said procedures as laid down in the school’s Health and Safety Statement.

All new laptops/iPad’s will comply with European regulations regarding radiation.

 

Implementation

The plan will be supported, developed and implemented by; staff, children, board of management.  The plan will be monitored and evaluated by staff and principal at planning or staff meetings.

The plan is to be implemented from School Year 2018/2019     

The plan will be reviewed in 2020/2021

 

School Website

The school hosts a website, available at: www.gnskanturk.com The school newsletter and other news items will regularly be added for viewing. School policies that are relevant to parents will also be accessible on this site.

 

Ratification and Communication

This plan was finalised by the teaching staff, presented to the BOM on the …………………………………………………… and will then be made available, on request, to the school community following ratification.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Internet Acceptable Use Policy

 

The aim of this Acceptable Use Policy is to ensure that pupils will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s Internet resources in a safe and effective manner. Internet use and access is considered a school resource and privilege. Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP – will be imposed.

Before signing, the AUP should be read carefully to indicate that the conditions of use are accepted and understood.

 

School’s Strategy

The school will employ a number of strategies in order to maximise learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the Internet. These strategies are as follows:

  • Internet sessions will always be supervised by a teacher.

  • Filtering software and/or equivalent systems will be used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.

  • The school will regularly monitor pupils’ Internet usage.

  • Students and teachers will be provided with training in the area of Internet safety.

  • Uploading and downloading of non-approved software will not be permitted.

  • Virus protection software will be used and updated on a regular basis.

  • Students will observe good “netiquette” (i.e., etiquette on the Internet) at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute.

 

Internet

 

  • Students will not visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.

  • Students will use the Internet for educational purposes only.

  • Students will be familiar with copyright issues relating to online learning.

  • Students will never disclose or publicise personal information.

  • Students will be aware that any usage, including distributing or receiving information, school-related or personal, may be monitored for unusual activity, security and/or network management reasons.

 

Email/Social media applications

 

  • Students will use approved class email accounts (where provided) under supervision by or permission from a teacher.

  • Students will not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene or defamatory, or that which is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.

  • Students will not reveal their own or other people’s personal details, such as addresses or telephone numbers or pictures.

  • Students will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they only know through emails or the internet.

  • Students will note that sending and receiving email attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.

 

Internet Chat

 

  • Students will only have access to chat rooms, discussion forums or other electronic communication forums that have been approved by the school.

  • Chat rooms, discussion forums and other electronic communication forums will only be used for educational purposes and will always be supervised.

  • Usernames will be used to avoid disclosure of identity.

  • Face-to-face meetings with someone organised via Internet chat will be forbidden.

 

School Website

 

  • Pupils will be given the opportunity to have projects, artwork or school work displayed on the school’s website.

  • The publication of student work will be co-ordinated by a teacher.

  • Pupils’ work will appear in an educational context on the school website.

  • Digital photographs, audio or video clips of individual students will not be published on the school website. Instead photographs, audio and video clips will focus on group activities.

  • Personal pupil information including home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.

  • Pupils will continue to own the copyright on any work published.

 

Sanctions

Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action, including written warnings, withdrawal of access to privileges and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.

 

 

 

 

Permission Form

Please review the attached school Internet Acceptable Use Policy, sign and return this permission form to the Principal.

 

School Name: Convent of Mercy, Kanturk.

Name of Pupil: ………………………………………………………………....

Class: …………………………………………………………………………………

 

Pupil

I agree to follow the school’s Acceptable Use Policy on the use of the Internet. I will use the Internet in a responsible way and obey all the rules explained to me by the school.

Pupil’s Signature: ____________________________________________________

Date: _______________________________________________________________

 

Parent/Guardian

As the parent or legal guardian of the above pupil, I have read the Acceptable Use Policy and grant permission for my son or daughter or the child in my care to access the Internet. I understand that Internet access is intended for educational purposes. I also understand that that every reasonable precaution has been taken by the school to provide for online safety but the school cannot be held responsible if pupils access unsuitable websites.

 

I accept the above paragraph: Yes / No

(Please circle as appropriate)

 

In relation to the school website, I accept that, if the school considers it appropriate, my child’s schoolwork may be chosen for inclusion on the school’s website. I understand and accept the terms of the Acceptable Use Policy relating to publishing children’s work on the school website.

 

I accept the above paragraph: Yes / No

(Please circle as appropriate)

 

Signature: __________________________________________________________

 

Date: ______________________________________________________________

 

Address: ___________________________________________________________

 

Telephone: _________________________________________________________

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