Classrooms and Communities Online:
Schools and Technology
78% of U.S. public
schools have some access to the Internet.12
63% of schools with
a large proportion of students from poor families have access
to the Internet, compared to 88% of schools with higher-income
27% of all public school
instructional rooms have Internet access.14
Acceptable Use Policies
Many state departments of education and
local school districts have recommended that schools develop
a contract with every student using online services at school
to insure they are using the Information Superhighway appropriately.
Called Acceptable Use Policies, these contracts encourage
responsible behavior by students and give teachers enforceable
rules; for example:
- The network should be used in a way
that is consistent with the school's code of conduct.
- Students should share the system and
be careful not to monopolize it.
- The network should be used for educational
purposes (e.g., students should avoid placing commercial
advertising online without permission).
The policies also ban illegal activity
- Selling drugs or other illegal materials
- Using copyrighted material without permission
- Using networks to view indecent or obscene
- Creating or distributing computer viruses
- Using somebody else's name or code number
to send or receive messages
- Sending racist, sexist, inflammatory,
or obscene messages
- "Hacking" of any kind.
Failure to abide by the rules can result
in suspension of computer privileges or even prosecution.
Resources For Further Help
Below is a starter list of printed materials,
organizations, and other places you can turn to for help.
These are some of the resources we found most helpful, though
there are many others.
Books and Manuals
America's Children & The Information
Superhighway, The Children's Partnership, 1994 and 1996
Update. Available online at http://www.childrenspartnership.org.
Child Safety on the Information Superhighway,
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 1994.
A brochure available online at http://www.missingkids.org.
A Parents' Guide to the Internet. and
how to protect your children in cyberspace, Parry Aftab,
Esq., SC Press, New York, NY 1997. Available online at http://www.familyguidebook.com.
The Internet Kids & Family Yellow
Pages, Second Edition, Jean Armour Polly, Osbourne McGraw-Hill,
Berkeley, CA 1997. Excerpts online at http://www.netmom.com.
Leadership & Technology: What School
Board Members Need to Know, National School Boards Association,
1995. Write or call: NSBA Distribution Center, PO Box 161,
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-0161; (800) 706-6722; Fax (301)
Making the Net Work for You:
How to Get the Most Out of Going Online, Interactive Services
Association and National Consumers League, 1996. Available
online at http://www.penta.ufrgs.br/gereseg/censura/open/brochure.htm.
Parents Guide to the Internet, U.S.
Department of Education, November 1997. Guide free of charge.
Web of Deception, Threats to
Children from Online Marketing, Center for Media Education,
1996. Excerpts available online at http://www.cme.org/children/marketing/index_mktg.html.
American Library Association
Center for Children and Technology
The Center for Democracy and Technology
Center for Media Education
Center for Media Literacy
The Children's Partnership
Community Technology Centers' Network
The Electronic Frontier Foundation
National Parent Information Network
National Council of La Raza
National School Boards Association
National Urban League
Organization for Community Networks
Public Access Network Directory
U.S. Department of Education, Office
of Educational Technology
Federal Communications Commission