Our job is not to “prepare” kids for something; our job is to help kids learn to prepare themselves for anything.
Acceptable Use Policies
Schools, systems and departments maintain Acceptable Use Policies that detail how staff and students can use technology in schools. While expections can be argued for and made, and policies evolve over time, these policies set the current expectations of technology use in schools.
Cybersafety refers to online behaviour that is safe, appropriate and responsible.
To help prevent cybersafety incidents, students are taught how to:
- use technology appropriately and responsibly.
- behave in ways to enhance their own safety.
Each school will have a set of policies relating to ICT and online use.
In Queensland state secondary schools the focus is on digital identity management.
Within Education Queensland, the Cybersafety and Reputation Management team plays a key role in maintaining the integrity of the department's reputation with regards to cybersafety and reputation management issues.
Independent schools will each have their own policy framework and Catholic Schools in Queensland will have a set of Disosican policies.
Software restrictions and Internet Filtering
Education Queensland maintains a whitelist of approved software and online services (available only to EQ employee's) that details what can be used within EQ schools. Permission to use other services and where these are blocked, to have local access permitted, can be made, but takes time, and is usually granted only when an equivalent service is not already supported. For example, Google Drive and related services such as Docs, Spreadsheet, Slides, etc. is blocked for students and staff, because EQ provides access to the Microsoft Office equivalent.
When on school placements in EQ schools, you cannot assume that software or internet services will be available for use.
Copyright is a complex issue for teachers that determine how and what digital resources are available for use. It is particularly important when teachers create and share digital resources. The NCU maintains the SMARTCOPYING website at www.smartcopying.edu.au. This website provides extensive information and resources in relation to copyright and schools.
Data privacy is an issue explored in the Digital Technologies curriculum but will also have an impact your teaching practice, particularly when you and your students are collecting data and making data or student projects publicly accessable on the internet.
Parental and student consent is required to undertake many activities, and these extend to online activities such as using an online service, e.g. a social media service or communication tool, particularly when students have to sign up or subscribe to the service, even if this is free.
The Learning Place
Education Queensland maintains an online portal for EQ staff and students with minimal public material. Most online information and services are now within this protected ecosystem.
Access to these portals may be provided by schools for students on school placements, but this can take time and if your supervising teacher is making extensive use of these online portals, may present challenges in integrating your lesson planning and activities with your supervising teacher's expectations and classroom practices.
Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority
The QCAA maintains online portals for students and teachers in schools, but currently, most material is still available from their public site (though this is changing rapidly). This is where you access curriculum related material for Digital Technologies and Digital Solutions.
You should subscribe to the QCAA proferssional development newsletter to be informed of activities you can attend as a pre-service teacher.
Independent and Catholic Schools
Non-departmental schools have similar policies and procedures and these are individualised for the school and usually managed between teaching staff and the school IT manager and/or principal. They will usually be accessable from the school website. Some schools will be making very extensive use of ICT as everyday practice, for example, at St Hilda's there is an expectation that digital textbooks are used by students and produced by teachers. This can present challenges for school placements and you should explore the ICT use and expectations of schools you are assigned for school placements.