Virtual Blake Rules and Policies

8/2008

I. Appropriate Use of Virtual Blake Resources for Lower School Students

The rules for appropriate use of technology resources are the same as the rules for The Blake School. The Lower School's Safety, Respect and Welcome rules apply.

Specific Rules and Policies:
When using a School computer:

  • Use the computer carefully and never change the appearance of the screen.
  • Remember that the computer keeps track of everything you do. There are no secrets.
  • Work on the programs and web pages that your teacher tells you to use.
  • Use computers for educational purposes only.
  • Ask for help if you don't know what to do.
  • Never use the computer to be hurtful to others.
  • Be mindful of what you need to print. Don't waste paper.
  • Use your own file server account.
When using e-mail:
  • Words can wrinkle hearts; be mindful of your words. Something you would say in person, especially if it is kidding, can be misunderstood in an e-mail.
  • Never share passwords.
  • If you receive an e-mail from someone you do not know, tell your teacher.
When using the Internet:
  • Keep yourself safe when you are online. Never type your name, age, address or telephone number into the computer without your teacher telling you to do so.
  • Never copy work that you find online. It is important not to take someone else's work. Copyright, which is the law that protects your work, is important for all to understand.
  • Remember to cite resources, such as books, movies or web sites in your presentation or paper.
  • Tell a teacher or another adult if you read or see something on the computer that is inappropriate.

II. Appropriate Use of Virtual Blake Resources for Middle and Upper School Students

The rules for appropriate use of technology resources are the same as the rules for The Blake School. The Lower School's Safety, Respect and Welcome rules apply. The Middle School's Citizenship Code (HAART), which fosters honesty, acceptance of others, respect, responsibility and trust apply. The Upper School's behavior objectives, which concern academic honesty, respect, harassment, vandalism and theft applies.

Members of the Blake community who work on our computer network and utilize online resources (this includes web sites, blogs, podcasts, listservs, wikis and/or other emerging technologies) should show respect for themselves and for others, and they should respect the property of others, whether or not that property is in "real" or digital form. They should welcome others onto the network in the same way as they welcome them into all Blake activities. Members of the Blake community should respect the feelings and opinions of others on the network, just as they should respect those feelings and opinions in all other areas of the school. Members of the Blake community are responsible for their use of technology, whether personal or school-provided. They should realize that stealing or plagiarizing material in electronic form is no different from stealing or plagiarizing material that is in a more tangible form.

Although the rules for Virtual Blake are the same as those for The Blake School, it is important to restate them for several reasons:

  1. While members of the Blake community may understand and agree with the school rules in a general way, they may not understand the specific ways in which they apply to computers, Internet resources, communication systems and computer networks.
  2. It is easy to break rules electronically. Material in electronic form (includes documents, photos, digital recordings, movies, etc.) often seems less real. Breaking the rules on computer networks may seem less serious. People who would never consider stealing property that they can see or touch, mistakenly think that it is acceptable to take property in electronic form.
  3. A computer network and online resources seems to offer anonymity. An offensive message can be sent without having to confront the recipient face-to-face. However, you always leave a trail of electronic footprints. Anonymity is not a reality.
  4. Breaking the rules on a network often affects many other people. Even a little "unintentional" carelessness on just one computer can cause considerable misery for the entire school.

Specific Rules and Policies:
When using a School computer:

Systems components such as control panels, extensions and desk accessories should not be modified or deleted. If something is incorrectly set, please contact the computer person in your division.

Software is not to be copied from or to any school computer. Most software is copyrighted and unauthorized duplication is illegal. If a certain application is needed to accomplish a task, please discuss the problem with the computer person in your division who will try to find a legal solution.

Be considerate of the needs of other students and teachers who are waiting to use the equipment. If not using the computer for school work, please give it up to someone who does have work to do.

Never bring food or drink into any of the computer rooms.

Only games provided by the School may be used on our systems (before school, during school, or after school). If unsure of which software is available for use, check with the computer person in your division. Do not use "ignorance" as an excuse for the misuse of hardware or software. Please ask for help when needed.

Remember computer use at Blake is growing and changing rapidly. As rules and policies are updated, computer users will be notified and expected to comply. The Information Service (IS) staff will have the final say on any issues concerning use of resources.

When using personal laptops:

Keeping the network secure from viruses, spyware, and malware, means that certain requirements must be met before personal laptops can be connected to the network. Personal laptops will need to be authorized by IS staff to connect to the full access wireless academic network. Authorization will be granted only after IS has verified there is a valid updated antivirus application installed and the wireless cards have been registered. Window laptops must also have the latest Microsoft security updates installed. All personal laptops are able connect to the new limited access network called BlakeGuest but will only have access to the Internet. Use of Blake's proxy server is required on both the full and limited access network. Note: Although this is a personal laptop, the connection is on the school network and all resources are being shared. Do not intentionally waste limited resources such as bandwidth and file storage space as these resources are shared PK-12.

When using e-mail:

Use appropriate language in personal e-mail and conference areas. Profanity, put-downs and harassment are unacceptable. Remember, the School has e-mail for learning purposes, and is to be used as a privilege. Do not send e-mails that may clog the system, such as chain letters or pictures/web page links loaded from the Internet. The entire school uses the e-mail system. Use only language that would be appropriate for all ages. Use only your own account and do not share passwords with others. If someone has left his/her account "logged-in," please log that person out.

When using Online Resources (including blogs, podcasts, wikis and/or other emerging technologies)

Show the same respect and consideration that is expected on the Blake network. Remember that the Internet provides access to a vast amount of information and material. Some of it is appropriate for school use, and some is not. Inappropriate material should not be viewed or downloaded. Recognize that the Internet is a shared resource and do not intentionally waste bandwidth.

Students using social networks, blogs, podcasts or wikis are expected to treat these spaces as classroom spaces. Speech that is inappropriate for class is not appropriate for your social network, blog, podcast or wiki. While the goal is to engage in conversation with others, the School also expects that you will conduct yourself in the spirit of our community expectations.

Respect copyright laws. Do not use the Internet to download or exchange pirated software. If the distinction between freeware, shareware, public domain, and copyrighted commercial software is unclear, check with the IS department in your division. Properly credit information obtained online by following the same footnoting rules and procedures used with printed material.

As the School's use evolves, rules concerning proper use may require ongoing clarification. If unsure of any rules or policies, check with the computer person in your division.

Violation of the rules and policies will result in disciplinary actions.