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Digital Learning Night Held for Parents

On Tuesday, February 2nd, Piedmont High School invited all parents and students to visit the Digital Learning Night Booth during our home basketball games against Cuthbertson. Parents and students dropped by the booth between 5:30 and 7:30 pm and learned about a wide range of digital citizenship topics.

Garrett Williams, Piedmont’s Instructional Technology Facilitator, shared a presentation and other materials that focused on how we as a community can protect our children when they are online. He was assisted by his colleague from Monroe High, Ashley Ponscheck. Together they shared information about the Parent Portal for viewing student grades, digital resources, student work samples, Chromebook tips and cybersafety best practices. Parents were also able to log on to Chromebooks and gain hands-on experience to better support their children.

Materials Shared:
PHS Get Connected Presentation
Popular Social Websites and Apps Information Sheet
Chatting with Kids Online

The following FAQ has been prepared in case you were unable to attend the event:

Q. How do I get my credentials for logging into the parent portal?
A. You can pick up your credentials in the main office between 7:30AM and 4:00PM. Be sure to bring a valid driver’s license. This requirement has been put in place to protect the privacy of your child’s information.

Q. Why did UCPS choose Chromebooks over other devices like iPads or traditional PCs?
A. Chromebooks are easy to manage because they sync with a student’s Google Apps for Education account. They also give students access to a traditional keyboard and connect peripheral devices like a mouse or camera. In addition, they offer a greater level of security for both the student and the school system. Students can only download applications and extensions approved by UCPS. Chromebooks also prevent students from running executable files that could subvert the operation of the device or harm the UCPS network.

Q. How does UCPS protect my child from objectionable content on the internet?
A. UCPS uses a web filter to help monitor online activity. The filter blocks objectionable content before it can reach student devices at school and at home. While the system is not fool-proof, we are constantly working to update its capabilities to better protect our children. Educating students about appropriate online behavior is also stressed.

Q. What else can I do to protect my child from unsafe or unwanted internet sites?
A. The best filter a student can have at home is parental supervision. UCPS recommends keeping the Chromebook in an open family location and not keeping it in the child’s bedroom. In addition, you can use the materials from our digital learning night to learn more about keeping your child safe online.

Q. Does UCPS have a way to monitor and flag inappropriate or threatening content in student emails?
A. All UCPS emails are archived, so if an instance is reported, that email can be retrieved, even if the sender and/or receiver deleted it. If a student or parent is aware of the email system being abused they should report the violation to one of the school’s administrators. Your school’s teachers, desktop engineers and instructional technology facilitator will also report inappropriate behavior if they witness or hear about it from another student.

Q. What should my child do if he/she is experiencing cyberbullying at school or home?
A. We encourage our students to be mindful of others and to report when they see or hear about mistreatment. We also provide training for our staff so that they are aware of different types of cyberbullying and what steps should be taken if they are aware of an incident taking place. In addition, UCPS discipline policy takes bullying very serious and we do our very best to educate students and staff about the negative impact it has on others.

Q. What databases, websites, applications and resources are available to students?
A. UCPS has numerous databases that are purchased for student and teacher use. You can view a comprehensive list of available resources by clicking on your school’s technology tab. Piedmont High School’s tab is located at this web address: http://pmhs.ucps.k12.nc.us/links/technology.php

Q. What applications are available for student use on Chromebooks?
A. UCPS has compiled a list of applications that students are able to access from the Chrome Apps Store, this list can be accessed at: UCPS Student Apps Locker (https://sites.google.com/a/ucps.k12.nc.us/appreview/list-of-apps). Students and parents should check the Terms of Service (TOS) before using the applications. Additionally teachers may use a variety of websites and web tools with students.

Q. How does the school/teacher notify parents of Web2.0 tools and websites they will be using in class?
A. Web 2.0 is a term used to describe interactive online applications and websites. These tools are often accompanied with Terms of Service agreements. Typically, a Web 2.0 letter goes home at the beginning of the year in order to inform parents about what websites and tools will be used in class. If a teacher finds a tool, app, or website they’d like to use that is not already listed in the initial letter, the teacher will notify parents in a separate communication, allowing you the opportunity to give your child permission to use the site in question or work with the teacher to find a suitable substitute.

Q. Why can my child not print from their Chromebook?
A. The 1:1 initiative is a green initiative, and the goal is to reduce paper consumption of teachers and students. While students cannot print directly from their Chromebooks because they are unable to download software of any kind, they are able to print from home or another device by logging into their Google Drive and accessing their documents on the cloud. They can also visit the school’s Media Center if they need to use a printer during school hours where printing can be monitored.

Written by: Garrett Williams, Instructional Technology Facilitator
Posted: Feb 05, 2015 by Donna Helms

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