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Policy on the use of technology for remote e-learning


The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines and information to students, their
parents, and staff, surrounding the use of technology when learning remotely i.e.
from a place other than school and where it is not possible for the teacher to deliver
the class within the same location, as would be the case, if the class was taking
place in a classroom setting.
While this policy informs best practice for remote learning and the use of online
technologies during normal school term, it is devised in response to the Covid-19
emergency and is intended to provide guidance for the conduct of remote teaching
and learning during an extended unforeseen school closure.
This policy does not set out to replace our Mobile Phone or iPad Acceptable Usage
Policies or Internet User policy but rather intends to be an important addition to the
area of learning from a digital platform.
The policy presented here should be read also in tandem with our school’s Code of
Positive Behaviour Policy and Anti-Bullying (including Cyber Bullying) Policy. Staff
members should read this policy in tandem with WWETB Social Media Policy 2018.
Creagh College is a school under the patronage of Waterford Wexford Education
and Training Board (WWETB). As a school under the patronage of WWETB and who
take instruction from the Department of Education and Science, it is of paramount
importance that we have policies to ensure that procedures are in place that fulfil our
statutory obligations.

The primary obligations that all schools have are to the welfare of the learners in
their school. This policy, therefore, seeks to ensure that remote learning is safe for
all student learners under Child Protection Policy and that their data is also protected
under GDPR legislation.
Schools must ensure that learning may be able to take place in an environment that
is respectful and fair and meets its statutory duties.
This Policy is prepared, therefore, in accordance with the provisions of the
Department of Education and relevant sections of:
(a) The Education Act (1998)
(b) Education (Welfare) Act (2000)
(c) Equal Status Act (2000)
(d) Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (2004)
(e) Disability Act (2005)
(f) Children First 2017
(g) GDPR
(h) Department of Education: Child Protection Procedures for Primary and PostPrimary schools
(i) NEWB Guidelines for Developing a Code of Behaviour (2008).
Teaching and Learning is always evolving, especially, as we move deeper into the
21st century. Developments in IT provide us all with great opportunities as learners
and teachers. Never before has there been greater scope to learn using technology
and it continues to change the learning relationship between teachers and students.
Advances in technology mean that assignments can be delivered remotely and that
greater access to information on the internet affords the opportunities for real
learning to take place under the watchful and professional guidance of the teacher.
However, whether a child is being directed remotely or via a traditional classroom
environment, it is very important that all partners are aware that once a learning
exchange takes place between a student and teacher, whether at home or school,
the same statutory rules apply i.e. the school’s Code of Positive Behaviour and all of
the school’s policies.

This interim Policy has been developed during the Covid-19 Pandemic, when remote
teaching and learning was imposed on the school community, without prior
knowledge and preparation. Creagh College endeavours to make it very clear to all
of our partners that the values that are instilled in all of our policies remain, no matter
how we change our teaching and learning methodologies or the location of that
teaching and learning. This includes remote learning or when a child is being taught
in an environment that is not within the school building and the teacher is working
remotely and is not present with the student(s).
Guidelines on the appropriate use of Online Platforms for engaging in remote
teaching and learning
Creagh College encourages all students to use Microsoft Office 365. All students
have been given account details. If problems arise with Microsoft Office 365 they
should contact Microsoft Teams is a very useful tool for
remote teaching and learning.
Edmodo is also used by some of our teachers, especially for our senior students
whose older iPads may be incompatible with the Microsoft Teams app.
The primary online platform our school is currently using is Microsoft Teams. This
may change in time but the sentiment and instructions within this policy shall remain
valid no matter what platform we use in the future.
1. Teachers when working remotely will on most occasions try to communicate
online during normal working hours and will endeavour not to communicate
with students outside of these hours. However, everyone’s circumstance is
different and we have to be as accommodating to all members of our school
community as we can, especially in these uncertain times. Parents and
students need to be aware that teachers may have to send material/
assignments outside of regular school opening hours. This does not mean
there is an expectation on the student to begin work at the time it is received.
Likewise, there is never an expectation on the teacher to have to correct or
comment on work sent on Teams outside of normal school hours. Whilst it
might suit teachers or students to communicate outside of normal working
hours, it is essential that everyone agrees that responses or actions outside of
normal working hours are not required. We would urge all members of the
school community to turn off notifications outside of their learning/working
2. In so far as possible, provision for SEN students, will be made when using
Remote Learning methodologies.
3. No matter what time a student and/ or teacher is on Teams i.e. whether the
teacher is online giving a tutorial or not- the moment a student logs onto
Teams they must abide by the school rules and the rules will be implemented
if and when necessary.
4. Students cannot choose to leave a Team once a teacher has created one.
5. The material created by the teacher on Teams is the property of the teacher
and students do not have permission to share to others outside of the Team
unless given permission to do so. Recordings should not be made of any
online tutorial unless with explicit permission from the teacher. In this
instance, it is of utmost importance that any such recordings are not shared.
6. Teachers may choose to conduct live classes. Zoom or Microsoft Teams
conference might be used. We would like to avoid the scenario of students
being compelled to disable their webcams and/or muting their audio. In order
to avoid this scenario, we are using a high trust model. Teachers will trust
students to behave appropriately online, as they would in their real classroom.
Students’ attire must be suitable. Students will not record the class unless
with the prior permission of the teacher conducting the live online class. If a
recording is made with the permission of the teacher, it cannot be shared with
anyone outside of the class.
7. Teachers are the owners/ managers of the Teams they create. Most Teams
will be whole class groups but this may vary. When students are invited onto
and put into a Team it is the exact same as being in the classroom and being
with a class group. They have a teacher and the school’s same rules continue
to apply.
8. A teacher will only correspond to a student who is signed up to the correct
Platform, unless alternatives have been agreed in advance with both parties.
9. A teacher will only correspond and engage with a student who is using and is
logged into their WWETB account or, for our senior students, wriggle
10. Social media sites e.g. Facebook, Snapchat, Hangouts, WhatsApp etc, to
communicate with students is never permissible and teachers have been
advised accordingly. Social media may be used by teachers to demonstrate
examples of good work to parents and the wider school community, but will
not be used for the conduct of teaching and learning. Any such activity will
only be on the official school social media account (Facebook and Twitter). All
student names on student work should be redacted.
11.Other Teams created by students themselves within a Team created by the
teacher is not permitted.
12.Any behaviour or language deemed inappropriate during school applies online
and after established school times. The consequences for such behaviour will
be the same as if the student was in school as they are involved in prescribed
school work, on a school created platform using a school log-in and which has
been directed by school personnel.
13.Any language directed towards a fellow student or teacher that is very
aggressive/ threatening or offensive may also be reported to the Gardaí or
TUSLA or both.
14.The criteria for mandated Child Protection reporting remains the same as if
the child was being taught in school.
15.All provisions relating to the child’s data remains the same under GDPR
procedures and guidelines.
16.As per all matters pertaining to our school’s Code of Positive Behaviour, if a
student acts in a fashion that is contrary to our Code’s expectations they may
receive a sanction and/or Suspension/ recommendation to the Board of
Management for Permanent Exclusion.
17. As far as is practicable, we recommend that teachers and students use the
unexpected school closure time, for revision. This may not be feasible in all
instances, and in particular for exam classes who may not have finished their
courses yet; teachers may find it necessary to proceed with course work. It is
expected that all students and teachers will engage as best they can with all
efforts at online teaching and learning so as not to be behind when normal
school resumes.
We thank the school community for adhering to the above guidelines for
everyone’s safety and welfare.

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