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You are here Parents School Policy on Internet Access

Internet access is now available to pupils. The school is pleased to offer this tool as an available resource to both pupils and teachers for reference purposes and for researching project materials. Pupils will now have ready access to thousands of libraries and databases on every subject written. Electronic information research skills are now fundamental to preparation for living and working within the curriculum and staff will provide guidance and instruction to pupils in the appropriate use of such resources. Pupil use of telecommunications and electronic information will be provided only upon submission of permission and agreement forms by parents of pupils and by pupils themselves.

Electronic mail, or email, allows pupils to communicate with peers and educationalists around the world. Pupils will send and receive email during supervised sessions. Personal information about the child will not be disclosed without permission from the teacher supervising the session. Email messages containing information, which makes a pupil uncomfortable, must be reported to the teacher. Pupils are not permitted to respond to such messages. The allocation of personal email addresses to individual pupils will not be allowed.

World Wide Web
Access to on-line resources will enable pupils to explore thousands of libraries, databases and bulletin boards throughout the world. The school believes that the benefits to pupils from access to information resources and increased opportunities for collaboration exceed the disadvantages. Pupils will not be given access to the Internet without teacher supervision. Teachers regularly check computer logs of all information accessed by pupils. The school has a Firewall and Content Filter Software provided by the school’s broadband connection by the NCTE to help minimise the risk of children encountering inappropriate content on the Internet.

School Website
Pupils may create projects, artwork or writing which would be suitable for publication on the World Wide Web. The work will appear in an educational context on web pages with a copyright notice prohibiting the copying of such work without express written permission. The home address or telephone numbers of pupils will not appear with such work. Particular care will be taken where photographs of pupils are being used on the school website. Personal information including home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.
The school has prepared appropriate procedures for implementing this policy and will review and evaluate its effects on teaching and learning in June each year. Parents are encouraged to make suggestions for the improvement of this school policy.

Data Protection Act
The Data Protection Act 1998 was passed to deal with privacy issues arising from the increasing amount of information kept on computer about individuals. In accordance with the Act, the school only publishes pupil information that is relevant to the context of the webpage. Parents are informed of pupil information on the school website. The school is registered with the Data Protection Commissioner.

Guide to the Internet

What is the Internet?
The Internet is a worldwide system of connected computers, each of which may be connected to another network of computers. For this reason, it is sometimes called a network of networks. The Internet allows people in all corners of the world to communicate electronically, and to send and access information in a matter of minutes.

What is the World Wide Web?
The World Wide Web is the main source of content that is accessible via the Internet. It is like a library of books, only the pages are stored on lots of different computers around the world. The unique thing about the World Wide Web is that anyone can create content and make it accessible on the Web.

What are the advantages of Internet access?
The Internet allows people to access a vast information resource, talk to each other by email, and join electronic news, discussion and special mailing groups. Educationally speaking, it can open up a whole new vista for the user as well as provide access to information resources at one’s fingertips and provide a creative outlet for those who wish to create web pages.

What are the disadvantages of Internet access?
The Internet is a powerful tool, but it should not be used indiscriminately or without supervision. While your child is at school, the school will make every effort to ensure that this resource is used appropriately. As parents, it is your responsibility to monitor this resource at home, not unlike the manner in which you monitor the use of TV, video games, or the telephone. It is not advisable for children to engage in hours of unsupervised time on-line. Check their emails, know who they are chatting to on-line, and scrutinise the websites visited. Keep in mind that while your child is on-line, your telephone bill is getting larger.

What use is the Internet likely to be in the classroom?
The Internet has the potential to provide access from the classroom to educational resources within Ireland or from many parts of the world. A large variety of source materials, information, images and computer software can be accessed rapidly. It is possible to facilitate individual or group projects, collaboration and idea sharing between geographically dispersed pupils, teachers and schools.