(03) 5352 3861 304 Barkly Street, ARARAT VIC 3377 principal@mcararat.catholic.edu.au

The use of ICT at Marian College

Learning enhanced by online resources

All students at Marian College will be using a digital device that will assist them with their learning. These devices will be able to provide students with the necessary tools to enhance their learning. Marian College is committed to providing all students with relevant, rigorous and engaging learning opportunities and understands that students learn in a variety of styles and environments. These devices will allow students to connect collaboratively through wireless environments, allowing them access to a broad range of materials and help them to learn at their own pace and ability level. For many students, the opportunities for highly personalised instruction and self‐directed learning will enhance their ability to use these devices for schoolwork, homework, research, problem‐solving and project work. The staff at Marian College have been working towards a curriculum which facilitates delivery of content using technology. The weaving of technology through each of the Key Learning Areas has been a process which has been occurring for many years. As many of our educational programs and resources will be provided digitally, Marian College will be relying upon students to have their digital devices functioning correctly, at all times within the networked environment.

Cybersafety - Staying safe online

There is great potential for the use of online resources in school communities in terms of educational outcomes and as a means of communication. However, keeping young people safe whilst online is increasingly challenging for parents and schools as technology rapidly develops. A whole-school community approach and commitment to respectful relationships are essential elements to fostering positive communications within our community.
At Marian College, we recognise that as teachers and parents we have the ability to serve as positive role models for students in affording all people within our community dignity and respect at all times. We know too that young people learn by example; to manage conflict and disagreement in appropriate and respectful ways that do not harm others. When this does not occur and when there has been little thought for justice or the opportunity of the other party to present their view, the reputation and well being of an individual may be severely damaged. Introducing, modelling and reinforcing positive online behaviours are important components of a student’s educational experience. In support of this we offer the following Guiding Principles for our school community.
Guiding Principles for all members of the Marian College community:
  • Online behaviour is the responsibility of every member of the school community. The partnership and shared responsibility among staff, students and family members is an integral feature of good communication to promote a healthy, supportive environment for all students.
  • At all times, online behaviour should demonstrate respect for the dignity of the human person made in the image of God.
  • Contentious issues, concerns or disagreement should be discussed directly with the person/s concerned either face-to face or on the phone in a respectful, calm and courteous manner. Online communication should be avoided wherever possible in these instances to avoid confusion, misunderstanding or misrepresentation of tone and manner.
  • For discussions with the College about an issue involving your child, an email to the class teacher or TA teacher in the first instance to arrange a time to talk is the most appropriate.
  • All members of our community should refrain from posting offensive, demeaning, abusive, harassing or discriminatory material.
  • Students must learn that posting material that may be perceived as damaging to others or the reputation of the College such as commentary about staff, students or parents, using the school logo, photographs of the school, staff or students or other identifying images, or making personal comments that can be identified as relating to school issues, is not acceptable without first obtaining the permission of the College Principal.
Young students need our guidance to understand that what they say online has implications and often consequences.
Online safety is best achieved when there are open discussions and respect between parents and children, school and home, and staff and students about online practices. The Golden Rule is when there exists a perceived concern or contentious issue, always ring the College first to verify the details and to discuss the matter. This alerts the College to the issue, especially when there exists some tension or conflict between parties.

Protecting Your Child Online - Cyber Safety

Teach your child to report all forms of cyberbullying. Save the evidence and block that contact. Make sure they know not to divulge personal information or arrange to meet with people they do not know. If your child uses social media have them share their privacy setting with you and know their ‘friends’. Children under 13 should not be on social media networks. Keep computers in a public place within the home.
By understanding more about how your children are connecting online and what they are specifically using technology for, you will be better able to promote safe online behaviours.
For example:
  • No technology in bedrooms after a certain suitable hour at night.
  • No closed doors when using technology away from family areas.
  • Teach your child about the dangers of talking to strangers online.
  • Talk openly about their self-confidence and resilience and dispel the notion that affirmations come from strangers online who may either ‘like’ their actions, looks or lifestyle or make derogatory comments that can potentially harm their self image and worth.

Should you have any queries, or wish to seek further information about how Marian College can support you and your child’s safe use of technology, please contact the College. The ICT Policy is available on this College website <insert hyperlink>. Other information is available from many sources such as: http://www.cybersmart.gov.au and http://bullyingnoway.gov.au