Electronic Technology in Schools: Responsible and Ethical Use and Access

If you are aware of or suspect that cyberbullying is taking place, you have a legal obligation under the  Education Act  to report this to school administrators, and they are obligated to investigate. Your board should have introduced policies and guidelines on this matter by early 2013. Resolution of such issues should usually involve not only the student who has behaved inappropriately, but also the victim and other students privy to the conduct.

If you are aware of or suspect inappropriate student use of personal electronic recording devices, you need to address this as you would other kinds of student misconduct. For example, if you learn that students are recording each other or staff without direct supervision by a teacher, intervene and keep your school administrators informed. Where appropriate, refer the matter to school administrators to handle through student discipline or other processes.

There have been instances of students recording an educator without the knowledge or permission of the educator or school administrators. Such recordings have been shared with school administrators in efforts to critique educators and have been included in complaints to the College of Teachers. Educators are vulnerable to the manipulation of such recordings and unauthorized sharing and posting of such recordings. Established expectations about student use of electronic devices and technology should protect everyone in the school community and be enforced regardless of who is the subject of recordings or cyber activities.

To the extent that rules or expectations around inappropriate or unauthorized use of technology are established in board documents and procedures, school administrators and classroom educators should enforce these rules. If no such rules are in place, or you see the rules being ignored or flouted, it is important to raise these issues with your local.

Staff Use of Electronic Technology

Proper decorum concerning the use of technology applies to school staff too. Staff should generally refrain from using personal electronic devices at work. Using such devices for personal reasons during instructional time can result in complaints to school administrators, who may see this use as unprofessional and as a failure to properly carry out your duties in the classroom. Using such personal devices in a professional setting, even for pedagogical reasons, may mean that students and others have access to personal information on the device, which could result in professional liability or discipline.


Young elementary students wearing Caribana style headwear

To think that what began as a sign of my “happy place” and a reminder of the summer that was and of who I am now serves to stimulate curiosity among my primary students. It’s a sign that learning in this classroom will be given a fun and meaningful context.

students sitting in computer lab working on computers

When Locke’s PS was selected to take part in ETFO’s poverty and education project we were excited by the prospect of having a theatre group