- Maryland Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council (CEHPAC):
- New Jersey Education Association (NJEA):
Review Essay from MCCPTA Safe Technology Subcommittee
NOT OFFICIALLY ADOPTED BY MCCPTA
A News4 I-Team investigation found widespread frustration among teachers
over cellphones in class, and some area schools are implementing tougher
restrictions on mobile device usage.
Digital Safety at School and at Home
Lisa Cline, chair
The MCCPTA Safe Technology Subcommittee would like to share the following recommendations for using technology at school and at home.
For Students at School:
- Consider placing Chromebooks/laptops on desks and tables rather than in laps;
- Don’t forget to shut down and log off of Chromebooks/laptops when moving from classroom to classroom;
- Consider turning off cell phones and keeping them in backpacks or lockers off when not in use;
- If necessary, take eye breaks, 1-to 2 minutes in length, approximately every 15 minutes;
- Attend to task! Avoid distractions such as reading email, playing games, or browsing the Internet;
- Engage in face-to-face socialization, especially at free time, lunch, and recess;
- Always use the Internet and devices for educational purposes in accordance with MCPS’s responsible use policies;
- Use resources that do not infringe on another’s copyright or trademark rights.
MCPS students and families who use apps to access MyMCPS, the official school system's portal, should know that there is only one official school-approved myMCPS app. It is available on iTunes store and Google Play. All other apps offering MCPS students a portal to grades are not affiliated with MCPS even though they have "MCPS" in the name. They allow users to view new and old grades, GPA, class schedule, teachers, new assignments, and can build "what-if" reports for impacts on GPA. In the process, they may collect student data, including IDs and passwords. Use caution with these apps. Weigh utility and privacy. If you are concerned, you may report them to iTunes, GooglePlay, etc., as they are collecting student information without FERPA and COPPA authorization or protections.
For Students at Home:
- “Disconnect” at least one hour before bedtime. This includes all forms of media and requires online-based homework to be done well in advance of bedtime;
- Keep electronic devices out of bedrooms for a sounder sleep.
- Encourage students, when appropriate, to customize their device screens using tools such as ScreenShader designed to reduce potential eye strain and fatigue
- Consider providing students with options for good behavior that include physical activity and social interaction rather than “device time”;
- When requested, provide paper alternatives for take-home class work.
Schools are spending billions on digital tools. Students have little to show for it.
A Subcommittee of the Health & Safety Committee
Information and updates from the office of the Chief Technology Officer