STM Computer/Internet Acceptable Use Policy
Eighth Grade One-to-One iPad Program
STM iPad Acceptable Use Policy
Student Web Lockers
School Technology Issues: Urban Dictionary
School Technology Issues: Wiped History
Technology Issues: Social Networking Sites
Technology Issues: Sexting
Archdiocesan Technology Curriculum
St. Thomas More goes beyond the computer lab. Not only do we maintain
a 31-station computer lab equipped with an LCD projector and Webster
"smart board," all our buildings are networked so that
each classroom, equipped with at least 2 computers, can share network
and Internet resources through our two T1 connections.
STM also has two 15 station wireless mobile laptop
labs available for all students to enable them to use their technology
skills not only in the Computer Lab, but also in the classroom.
Our Middle School and Primary Schools have wireless Internet access
and our goal is to provide the entire school with wireless access.
STM uses Windows XP and students have access to the Office 2007
suite of programs as well as a variety of productivity and educational
The lab is open
after school on Mondays and Tuesdays from dismissal until 3:45
for students to work on school projects. Students must sign
up on the signup sheet outside the lab 24 hours in advance. This
is to insure that parents and carpool drivers are informed of the
student's plan to stay late. Aftercare students must get a note
from Mrs. Kloer to show when they sign in to aftercare. They should
have a snack and then return to the lab.
This year, due to a generous grant from the Speedwell Foundation and the Hope Foundation, STM's 8th graders will have the use of an iPad to use in place of textbooks. Teachers have worked on creating units of learning to be transferred to the iPads and the grant also purchased about $75 worth of educational apps for each student.
Students will be allowed to take the iPads home only after they and they and their parents have signed the STM iPad Acceptable Use Policy. This policy is specific to our 8th grade one-to-one iPad program and the more general Computer and Internet Acceptable Use Policy must still be signed by all 8th graders and their parents.
At school, student's Internet access is protected by a filter. Parents interested in protecting students from the unsavory parts of the Internet when on their iPads, computers, or other wi-fi enabled mobile devices, may want to install Open DNS. This free tool allows paretns to "control the websites that are accessible on all Internet-connected devices in your home, from laptop and desktop computers to gaming consoles and mobile phones. Open lines of communication with your kids by telling them why sites are blocked on the customizable block page." A version of this software is used by St. Pius X High School. Learn how to set up this filtering tool on your home network and on your student's iPad at http://www.digmo.co.uk/tip/easy-ipad-internet-filtering-via-opendns/
STM is providing iPad insurance for each student; however, parents are responsible for the $50 deductible as detail in the STM iPad Acceptable Use Policy. You can information on how to file a claim and the claim form below. To file a claim, please contact Heather Kloer for your student's polcy number and iPad serial number.
STM Electronic Device with Accidental Coverage Booklet
STM iPad Insurance Information Flyer
STM iPad Insurance Claim Form
Students will be able to save and access work at home and at school through an Edline service called web Lockers. To use this service, students who have not set up an Edline account should do so using the access code provide on the inside cover of the School Handbook and Directory. The Edline Account Setup Guide, found on our homepage in the upper left corner under the Edlline Login link provides the instructions on how to set up the account.
- When students login, they can click on the My File Locker link in the upper left in the My Content section.
- Next click on the Add File button
- Finally, click on the Browse button and navigate to your file and then click on the Add button
- Next time the student clicks on My File Locker, the file will be available to open and download.
Parents should be aware of a website which has attracted the attention of some of the members of the Middle School: The Urban Dictionary. This site, which is blocked at STM, purports to be a dictionary of slang words and phrases which is created by account holders logging in and adding content, not unlike Wikipedia. However, unlike Wikipedia, there appears to be very little vetting of posts or quality control and the Urban Dictionary contains offensive, sexually graphic, racist and content inappropriate for midde schoolers or civilized people in general. The title of "dictionary" may be misleading; a parent checking a students Internet history might see it and not realize how much inappropriate material is available to students on this site.
On sign of your student going to inappropriate websites might be a wiped history. Internet browsers allow the history of site being visited to be deleted. This is not always a sign of your student going to inappropriate sites, but it can be a warning sign. Check the links below to learn how to check the history for different browsers. If your student uses the computer regularly but never has a history of sites visited, it may be time for a conversation about using the same digital ethics required at school at home.
View Browsing History in Internet Explorer 7
View Browsing History in Google Chrome
View History in Firefox
Parents should be aware of the current phenomenon of "social networking." sites. Simply stated, social networking sites allow students to quickly and easily create web pages that contain information about themselves. Although not inherently evil, these sites can make students vulnerable in a number of ways, depending the amount and type of information students share. Parents and students need to carefully review the rules of the site, the restrictions on others viewing the site, and the kind of information and/or pictures your student would put on the site.
Problems which can occur from students creating these sites include vulnerability to Internet predators and cyberbullies, as well exposure to other high risk activities. Read more about these and other problems by accessing the links below.
Of special interest to parents is information on Google Buzz, which is a social netowrking tool built in to Gmail accounts. You can learn more about Buzz by watching the short video here. Students in the past have not set up privacy options and posted unkind and defamatory comments about peers and teachers. Like most technology, Google Buzz is morally neutral; it is the way we use a tool like Buzz that determines morality. Parents may wish to learn how to manage privacy settings for their student's account or turn off Buzz altogether.
In the case of all social networking sites, parents should be aware of their student's online activities, if allowed, and that might include knowing passwords and friending or following them. If a student objects, saying, "That's private," an accurate response might be, "No it's not; it's on the Internet!" In this era of competition to get into good high schools, the last thing we want is for one of our students to torpedo their otherwise excellent chances of acceptance into a school of their choice with a silly or indiscreet comment which is easily read by admissions officers.
Here at STM, social networking sites are blocked for students. In addition Middle School students are instructed in the realities of Internet safety through a curriculum available at Cybersmart . The dangers of social networking are often addressed during technology current events discussions in computer class.
Some social networking sites which are currently popular include My Space, Xanga, Facebook, and Tagged.
Please read the information on the links below and discuss the issues with your student. If they have a site, look at it and make sure that it is safe. Finally, if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please contact Mrs. Kloer.
GBI Internet Crimes Against Children and CyberSafety Site This site is a portal for information for parents, teachers, and kids about how to stay safe on the Internet.
"The "My Space;" Phenomenon" by Nancy Willard This article provides a good overview of why parents and teachers should be concerned about social networking sites with some guidelines for keeping students safe on the Internet.
My Space Safety Tips for Teens These tips are offered by the My Space website for teens who use the service and includes links to other safety oriented websites
My Space Tips for Parents These tips are offered by the My Space website for parents and include links to monitoring software and a way to remove your child's profile from the website.
Dangers Children Face Online: Dateline NBC This article describes Dateline's ongoing project to reveal the dangers children can face online.
Why Parents Must Mind My Space This article describes the dangers of MySpace and has links to tips for kids of different ages as well as online safety contracts for parents and kids.
US Computer Emergency Readiness Team Cyber Tip on Social Networking Sites
List of Notable Social Networking Sites This list from Wikipedia, while not exhaustive, gives most of the social networking sites that your kids might want to join.
Parents should be aware of a disturbing trend among young people that involves use of the cell phone, often in coordination with social networking sites, called sexting. Students send nude or nearly nude pictures of themselves to one another. This is a troubling trend from a moral as well as a legal standpoint and students need to know that the foolish mistake of a moment can affect their lives adversely for years after they make one bad decision.
Read more about this problem and what parents can do to protect their children.
What is sexting? This article defines sexting and suggests some strategies for keeping young people safe from some of the awful consequences
Connect With Kids, a respected website dealing with kids, parents, and technology and other issues, provides this video and article about the problem with tips for parents.
Netsmartz, whose Internet safety curriculum and resources are used in the STM computer lab, provides this tip sheet for parents on how to prevent sexting.
Teen Chat Decoder You can plug in an abbreviation you don't understand, or browse the alphabetical lists.