A major focus of our uses of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) at John Willcock College is for our students to display responsible Digital Citizenship.
This means they recognise what it means to be a responsible user of ICT and how it affects them personally. Everything we do online leaves a digital footprint of who we are that is able to be found online, possibly forever. It is important for students to recognise this and act appropriately online.
We take all students through a whole day of laptop training at the start of the year, revisiting the main points at the start of each term. We cover care and use of the machine, appropriate uses of the software applications, and the uses of our online learning areas and collaboration spaces. Students who enrol during the year are also taken through a similar process covering the same material.
We also spend the first three weeks of Team Time each year covering aspects such as Online Safety, Socialising on the Internet, Cyberbullying, Sexting, Dealing with Offensive Content, and Mobile Phone Safety using resources available freely at the ACMA. This is the Australian Communications and Media Authority which provides many current Australian based resources for schools and parents.
We supplement this during the year with other packages freely available, and visiting guest speakers from other organisations who also reinforce the positive messages about responsible uses of ICT.
Students and parents sign our Network Agreement and Take Home Agreement as part of the process of informing and managing our appropriate uses of ICT at John Willcock College.
The Education Department and the school filter the content readily available on the internet to reduce issues. This includes blocking many sites such as Facebook and Hotmail. Students who deliberately try to access inappropriate content are found in breach of the Network Agreement and face the consequences of such action.
Our Apple Rewards system provides opportunity for staff to recognise and reward students who are displaying positive and responsible behaviours with ICT at our school, resulting in monthly winners at prize draws at each Subschool, an end of term assembly, and the end of year final draw.
Our focus on responsible digital citizenship helps prepare our students for their future uses of ICT in positive and meaningful ways as they use the Macbooks across their Learning Areas at our school.