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Employee Computer and Internet Use

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Running Head: EMPLOYEE COMPUTER AND INTERNET USE

Employee Computer and Internet Use Tammy R Story ITEC 7132 Dr. Melissa Allen

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Computers have become a vital tool for the 21st Century Educator. As the popularity of social networks, blogs, e-mails and instant messengers increase, County School Boards are forced to establish policies that govern computer and internet use in county schools. These policies must be establish so school employees will know what is classified as appropriate computer and internet use, and what is classified as inappropriate use. Employee computer and internet use is a growing concern within our schools; and employees must understand the correct standards for the school’s computer and internet use, and the consequences for violating the use of the school’s computer and internet system. Board Policy for Employee Computer and Internet Use: Appropriate Usage for Employee Computers and Internet Use Descriptor Code: IFBGC The County School Board often expects that all of their employees to learn how to use electronic mail and any other forms of telecommunication tools; furthermore, they also expect that employees will use them correctly on a regular basis to effectively perform their task associated with their position. The County School Board will often signify in their board policy that the county’s Superintendent or his/her designee are to provide school employees with the proper training to effectively use their electronic mail and telecommunication tools. https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/ePolicy/policy.aspx?PC=IFBGC&Sch=4112&S=4112&RevNo=1. 02&C=I&Z=P Suggested Comments: The County School Board should clearly state the appropriate ways for their employees to use electronic mail and telecommunication tools. Incorporating a section that clearly states the appropriate ways for employees to use the school’s internet and computers will create less confusion about what is appropriate and what is not appropriate. Cape Elizabeth School District includes the following section that clarifies appropriate use: “Cape Elizabeth School District computers, network and Internet services are provided for purposes related to school programs and operations, and performance of their job responsibilities. Incidental personal use of school computers is permitted as long as such use: 1) does not interfere with the employee’s job responsibilities and performance; 2) does not interfere with system operations or other system users; and 3) does not violate this policy and the accompanying rules, or any other Board policy, procedure or school rules. “Incidental personal use” is defined as use by an individual employee for occasional personal communications.” (Cape Elizabeth School Department, Adopted: 2006) It is recommended that one should review Cape Elizabeth School Department policy for employee computer and internet use: http://www.cape.k12.me.us/policies/G/gcsa_employee_computer_internet_use.html

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Board Policy for Employee Computer and Internet Use: Prohibited Uses of Computer and Internet Use Descriptor Code: IFBGC The County School Board often believes that network communications are not private, and the network supervisor has the right to call for an examination of any directories or electronic communication. In board policy, the County School Board will often explain that sometimes messages may get sent to the wrong location; however, if inappropriate use is suspected, the network supervisors have the right to examine all communications to ensure that employees are following policy procedure. https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/ePolicy/policy.aspx?PC=IFBGC&Sch=4112&S=4112&RevNo=1. 02&C=I&Z=P Suggested Comments: It is recommend that a County School Board should list what is deemed as inappropriate use of network communications, in addition, they should include a section of prohibited uses of school’s computers and internet use. Cape Elizabeth School District has listed good example of prohibited uses a school board could incorporate into their policy and procedures: “E. Prohibited Uses Examples of unacceptable uses which are expressly prohibited include, but are not limited to, the following: 1. Any use that is illegal or which violates other Board policies, procedures or school rules, including harassing, discriminatory or threatening communications and behavior; violations of copyright laws, etc. The school unit assumes no responsibility for illegal activities of employees while using school computers. 2. Any use involving materials that are obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit or sexually suggestive. 3. Any inappropriate communications with students or minors. 4. Any use for commercial, advertising or solicitation purposes. 10. Any misuse or damage to the school unit’s computer equipment, including opening or forwarding e-mail attachments (executable files) from unknown sources and/or that may contain viruses; 11. Any attempt to access unauthorized sites, or any attempt to disable or circumvent the school unit’s filtering/blocking technology.” (Cape Elizabeth School Department, Revised: 2006) It is suggested to review the following site as provided and view Section E of Cape Elizabeth School Department to view more examples of prohibited uses: http://www.cape.k12.me.us/policies/G/gcsar_employee_computer_internet_use_rules.html

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Board Policy for Employee Computer and Internet Use: Copyright policy and consequences for violating any computer or internet use policy Descriptor Code: IFBGC The County School Board will state in their board policy that it is the Superintendent’s responsible for clarifying to their employees which types of computer and internet behavior use is permitted and which is not; furthermore, they will state in their board policy that is expected for their employees to abide by the state laws that govern the behavior of school employees and to abide by the federal copyright laws. The County School Board will often express how it is not allowed to share confidential information about students or staff through electronic mail and telecommunications. https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/ePolicy/policy.aspx?PC=IFBGC&Sch=4112&S=4112&RevNo=1. 02&C=I&Z=P Suggested Comments: It is suggested that a County School Board should outline the specific State Laws and Federal Copyright Laws that govern the behavior of school employees. Nassau County Schools outlines in their board policy a copyright policy for their employees. This is a great example for a County School Board to adopt for their current board policy, so employees will have clarification about copyright procedures. Nassau County School’s Example: “Copyright Users of the Nassau County Schools’ digital network will not engage in copyright infringement. Users will make a standard practice of requesting permission from the holder of the copyright if their use of the material has the potential of being considered an infringement, since the extent of copyright protection of certain works accessed through the Internet or posted to the Internet remains legally unclear. Users will not plagiarize work(s) that they find on the Internet.” (The Nassau County School District, 2007 - 08) Website’s link to review policy: http://www.nassau.k12.fl.us/tech/forms/Emp_AUP.pdf It is suggested, in addition, that a County School Board should include an actual copy of Federal Copyright Laws for school employees to review. Bellingham School District has adopted a board policy that incorporates federal copyright guidelines for school employees. Bellingham School District includes the following examples in their board policy: Example one: “Staff may make copies of copyrighted school district materials that fall within the following guidelines. Where there is reason to believe the material to be copied does not fall within these guidelines, prior permission shall be obtained from the principal. Staff members who fail to follow this procedure may be held personally liable for copyright infringement.” (Bellingham School District, Adopted: 1995) Example two: “Authorized Reproduction and Use of Copyrighted Material in Books and Periodicals

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In preparing for instruction, a teacher may make or have made a single copy of: A chapter from a book; An article from a newspaper or periodical; A short story, short essay or short poem; or A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical or newspaper.” (Bellingham School District, Adopted: 1995) It is suggested that a County School Board should review Bellingham School District’s board policy for more examples of how to incorporate this board policy: http://www.bham.wednet.edu/technology/copyrightpolicy.htm It also is advisable that a School County Board should refer their school employees to the Library of Congress Copyright site for further review about Copyrights: http://www.copyright.gov/ A School County Board also needs to implement in their board policy the consequences for employees who use the computer and internet for inappropriate items and list those items for employee clarification. Gregory Taillon states in his article Controlling Internet Use in the Workplace the importance of establishing policies for internet use. He states, “Rules need to exist before they can be enforced. Therefore, employers must set policies before they can take disciplinary action on Internet abuse.” (Taillon) Link to Article for review: http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2004/704/perspectives/p16.htm Cape Elizabeth School District includes in their Employee Computer and Internet Use board policy, the consequences for violating any computer use policy or rule. It is recommended that a County School Board adopts the following policy as Cape Elizabeth School: “Cape Elizabeth Schools’ Consequences for Violation of Computer Use Policy and Rules: Failure to comply with Board policy GCSA, these rules and/or other procedures or rules governing computer use may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Illegal use of the school unit’s computers will also result in referral to law enforcement.” (Cape Elizabeth School Department, Revised: 2006) http://www.cape.k12.me.us/policies/G/gcsar_employee_computer_internet_use_rules.html Board Policy for Employee Computer and Internet Use: Employee Computer and Internet Use is a privilege Descriptor Code: IFBGC In a school board policy, the County School Board may encourage their employees to use telecommunications for the following things: exploration for educational topics, research, and business related contact to fellow colleagues. The County School Board may even express for the school system to share effective practices and lessons across their district; furthermore, the school system is expected to help employees to stay ahead and up to date on teaching practices by developing networks with other educators both nationally and internationally.

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https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/ePolicy/policy.aspx?PC=IFBGC&Sch=4112&S=4112&RevNo=1. 02&C=I&Z=P Suggested Comments: A County School Board should clarify that using the school’s computer and the internet, is mainly for teacher collaboration, instructional purposes and educational research. A County School Board should also stress that using the school’s computers and internet for teacher collaboration, instructional purposes and educational research is a privilege and not a right. A County School Board should also state in their board policy the consequences for violating these privileges. Nassau County Schools outlines in section III of their board policy that the use of their internet system is a privilege, and is suggested that a County School Board should incorporate a similar policy into their board policy. Nassau County School’s example: “USE OF SYSTEM IS A PRIVILEGE : The use of the school district system and access to use of the Internet is a privilege, not a right. If there are violations of this privilege, depending on the nature and degree of the violation and the number of previous violations, unacceptable use of the school district system or the Internet may result in one or more of the following consequences: suspension or cancellation of use of access privileges; payments for damages and repairs; discipline under other appropriate school district policies, including suspension, expulsion, exclusion or termination of employment; or civil or criminal liability under other applicable laws.” (The Nassau County School District, 2007 - 08) http://www.nassau.k12.fl.us/tech/forms/Emp_AUP.pdf Overall, it is important that a County School Board updates their board policy for Employee Computer and Internet use to ensure that school employees will not violate any of the policies; furthermore, it is important to clarify each detail to insure that all school employees understand their County School Board Policy. Kathleen an online expert for pc.com just ask website states the following professional opinion, “Be sure employees know the rules. Make sure your policy is in writing. Have the employee sign the policy when they start. Be open with employees: if there is a problem, talk to them about it—that might be all it takes to clear it up. If you monitor employee’s computer use, let them know! Know that there are legitimate reasons for an employee to use the computer, just as there are reasons they should be able to use the phone for non-work uses. The policy should apply to all employees equally—although some may need more time online than others to do their job.” (Kathleen, on line expert and representative for PC.com Just Ask) Kathleen also suggested the following websites for sample policies: http://www.strategichr.com/shrsweb2/internet_harrass_policy.shtml http://www.efa.org.au/Publish/aup.html It recommend for a County School Board to review the following websites so they will have more relevant examples to adopt for their Employee Computer and Internet Use board policy, in order to up date their current board policies.

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References
Bellingham School District. (Adopted: 1995, January 12). Copyright Policy. Retrieved April 21, 2008, from Bellingham Public Schools: http://www.bham.wednet.edu/technology/copyrightpolicy.htm Cape Elizabeth School Department. (Revised: 2006, June 13). Employee Computer and Internet Use Rules. Retrieved April 20, 2008, from School Board Policies: http://www.cape.k12.me.us/policies/G/gcsar_employee_computer_internet_use_rules.html Cape Elizabeth School Department. (Adopted: 2006, January 10). GCSA - Employee Computer and Internet Use. Retrieved April 20, 2008, from School Board Policies: http://www.cape.k12.me.us/policies/G/gcsa_employee_computer_internet_use.html Kathleen, on line expert and representative for PC.com Just Ask. (n.d.). Ask a Question Within Computer Security. Retrieved April 22, 2008, from PC.com Just Ask: http://www.pc.com/ask/aanda?catid=200002&catname=Computer%20Security McDuffie County Schools. (Date Adopted: 2005, December 8). Board Policy: Employee Computer and Internet Use. Retrieved April 20, 2008, from McDuffie County Schools - Board Governance System: https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/ePolicy/policy.aspx?PC=IFBGC&Sch=4112&S=4112&RevNo=1.02& C=I&Z=P Murray County School System. (Adopted: 2005, April 11). Employee Computer and Internet Use. Retrieved April 20, 2007, from Board Policy: http://www.murray.k12.ga.us/Internet%20Use%20Policy.htm Taillon, G. (n.d.). Controlling Internet Use in the Workplace. Retrieved April 20, 2008, from A Publication of the New York State Society of CPAs: http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2004/704/perspectives/p16.htm The Nassau County School District. (2007 - 08). Employee Acceptable Use Policy for the Digital Network of the Nassau County School District 2007 -08. Retrieved April 21, 2008, from http://www.nassau.k12.fl.us/tech/forms/Emp_AUP.pdf