School rules for using digital media - guidelines and tips

applies not only to the home environment, but also has wide application in the school environment. School rules for using digital media

School rules for using digital media - guidelines and tips
School rules for using digital media - guidelines and tips

We cannot talk about responsible use of information and communication technology without creating rules for the use of the Internet, smartphones or computers. This situation applies not only to the home environment, but also has wide application in the school environment. School rules for using digital media.

Smartphone at school - some facts based on research

School rules. When and for whom?

You can imagine that there are schools in that have practically no problems with managing new technologies in their area. In such situations, a common model adopted by principals and teachers is the introduction of an absolute ban on bringing smartphones to school. Such behavior is seen by many teachers as a solution to the problem of excessive use of new technologies by students. Nothing could be more wrong. Physically depriving a student of a smartphone only seemingly reduces the scale of such behaviors as cyber bullying, fatigue or lack of concentration. As a form of impact, strict smartphone bans in school should only be applied in exceptional circumstances. In most cases, we should consider how to positively integrate mobile phones into the day-to-day functioning of the school environment.

Creating school rules for the use of new technologies should be a planned process, extended in time and, above all, supported by a real need. We are talking about all the negative situations that can occur in the presence of a lack of hygienic use of digital media during a student's stay at school. Such situations include:

  • Abuse of digital devices during lessons and during breaks between lessons,
  • Exhaustion of students at school caused by compulsive use of digital media at home,
  • increasing the number of students who have difficulties in acquiring the content provided by teachers due to excessive distraction related to compulsive use of digital media (based on formally pronounced diagnoses made by employees of psychological and pedagogical counseling centers),
  • The occurrence of behaviors related to violence on the Internet (cyberbullying),
  • Coming into conflict with students and teachers due to the use of media and digital devices,
  • Difficulties in establishing direct relationships, tendencies to self-isolate and close oneself in the on-line world.

When establishing school rules for the use of new technologies, it should be remembered that all provisions of the statute must comply with both the laws and regulations. Meanwhile, there is no legal basis for introducing a provision in the statute that would completely eliminate cells from school. Educational regulations oblige to establish the conditions of bringing in and the rules of using telephones, so they do not imply the possibility of introducing a complete ban on the use of mobile phones, such action would be unlawful. The law does not specify a catalog of sanctions that the school may impose on students, it only refers to international regulations that prohibit torture and degrading punishments. The statute drawn up on the basis of the new regulations must specify the procedure, form, date and to whom the student may appeal against the imposed penalty.

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Guidelines for creating school codes of use of new technologies

How to build school codes for the use of new technologies? How should teachers and students participate in this work? Are the developed rules constant and unchanging, and should they concern only students? The following are some of the most important guidelines teachers should always keep in mind when drawing up these types of school contracts:

  1. Discuss the idea: It is good to discuss the idea of ‹‹creating school rules in advance with other teachers, the principal, psychologist or school counselor, especially with parents.
  2. Collaborative work: The rules set out in the school code should not be the result of the work of teachers themselves, but should be created by the entire school environment. If the student has a real sense of influence over the written content, he is more likely to follow them in the future. By working together, we increase the student's sense of subjectivity and importance in the process of deciding about the most important things in the school he or she attends.
  3. You are the leader: Remember that as a teacher you are in full control of your students' ideas as they come up. You are the leader of the created principles of responsible use of digital media. When creating the code, listen to the expectations and ideas of the students, do not negate them or say that they are bad, but that they may need to be corrected. In the points of contention, suggest your changes to the ideas submitted. Remember that rules should not be written in the form of prohibitions or orders, but rather as guidelines.
  4. Be positive: Remember that rules should not be written in the form of prohibitions or commands, but rather as guidelines. Such an understanding of the matter will allow you to get rid of the negative association of work that needs to be done.
  5. Follow Together: Established school rules should be followed together. This will further emphasize the role and importance of the student at school. The learner will feel confident when they see that you too are striving to follow the set goals for responsible use of digital media. He will feel that he is not left alone, but that he can count on your support and presence.
  6. Consistency in action: Remember that when working with students, not only rules for responsible use of digital media should be established, but also the consequences of not following them. So think carefully about each written rule. Are you really able to follow it without any problems? Remember: these are simple solutions to increase personal hygiene in your daily digital media use. School rules should not be associated with punishment and an unfulfilled agreement.
  7. Monitor progress: School rules for responsive use of digital media are designed to shape the right attitude in the everyday use of such mobile devices as a smartphone, tablet, computer, game console. Understood in this way, they cannot be reduced to one-off work together, but should be implemented every day. Pay attention to the fact that from time to time - set by you - pay attention to how your work is implemented in the everyday functioning of the school. Perhaps you will come to the conclusion that changes in the written rules are needed, perhaps individual points require correction or complete reformulation, or even liquidation.
  8. This is a really important day: Remember that the responsible use of digital media policies should not be associated with punishment and severe restriction. Make sure students remember this day as an important event in their lives. Let the emergence of the principles of responsible use of digital media be associated with a pleasant time, a school picnic, a trip.

Remember that even if you fail to implement the principles of using new technologies throughout the school, you can do so in the classroom where you are the teacher.

Practice shows that many school difficulties and problems with using new technologies could be avoided if we modeled proper attitudes in children and students regarding the use of digital blessings. This modeling can be done, for example, by jointly - students and teachers - establishing school rules related to the use of digital benefits. Such a path - joint management - will always be much better and more appropriate than the absolute closure of schools to the presence of smartphones.