School Community Platform
The School Community Platform (SCP) is where you set your school time and filtering policies for student devices when they are connecting to unsafe networks, such as mobile data, hotspotting and now the home network during the normal school day. These times are anything but normal, so we have some suggestions that will help you navigate these unchartered waters while keeping students focused and safe online. As every school will have a different set of circumstances, we encourage you to book a technical consultation to discuss your school's specific requirements, so that we may better advise you.
We expect schools to be using technology in more creative and diverse ways than ever before. To minimise potential interference, your school may need to consider relaxing your school's filtering policies within your School Community Platform, while still removing distractions and maintaining online safety.
What settings Family Zone has changed
With the number of school closures growing across Australia and New Zealand, we have reviewed our base policy for School Community Platform and parent accounts to make the transition to remote learning easier. We have proactively made the following changes;
- Reduced the restrictions around YouTube for younger year groups so that students can access more content that teachers may use.
- Removed restrictions for younger year groups on Web Accounts that gives access to Google mail, Microsoft accounts etc.
- Removed restrictions for users around web conferencing e.g. Zoom, Go-To-Meeting, Team Viewer etc.
Please note that these changes have been deployed to the base school policy only - we will never override any customisation that you have completed for your school.
What settings Family Zone recommend your school reviews
Below, we have listed a number of recommendations for configuring your School Community Platform for remote learning. Please note these are only general recommendations - please make changes appropriate for your school's situation. If you are unsure of what changes to make, please contact us via the form on this page.
Below are the list of categories that we recommend you continue blocking while allowing all others for all year groups;
- Hate Speech
- Adult Content
- Intimate Apparel
- Match Making
Social media and gaming
Social media can often be a distraction to learning and is often blocked during school time. As we have already said, this is unchartered waters and your teachers may be looking for new platforms that allow students to engage - not only with each other but with family. Therefore, you may need to adjust your filtering appropriately. You may consider allowing the following categories;
During an extended period of closures, it is reasonable to expect that streaming media will become increasingly valuable sources of learning content. It is also to be expected that we will see an increase in teachers creating their own video content to share with students. We therefore recommend the following;
- Allow YouTube access
- Allow mature and uncategorised content – whilst this presents risks, it is also the approach least likely to interrupt a students education
Whilst streaming media be permitted broadly as a category, we would also recommend that schools restrict students to platforms offering documentaries and other educational content during school hours.
We advise schools to consider permitting the following categories;
- Streaming Media
- ABC iView
- SBS on Demand
School Days versus Rest Days
If your school is closed, closing or having pupil free days and therefore will not be implementing remote learning, then please remember to update your School Community Platform calendar so that parents filtering policy is in effect.
You can find out how to do that by reading our feature guide or watching this video.
If your school will be implementing remote learning, you may want to review and refine your school hours, and/or filtering policy.
You can find out how to do that here.
We strongly recommend that schools continue to schedule any days where remote learning is being delivered as a School Day. This ensures that all students are subject to the schools rules and removes the risk of parents having conflicting settings. We also recommend that schools review school hours and align these with the intended hours of online education.
If you intend to provide formal lessons, we advise school time commences 15 minutes prior to the first lesson and ends 15 minutes after the end of the final period.
If you are planning informal online learning, we recommend school hours are aligned to standard school hours. This will support your students and parents by providing structure to their day and clearly defining when devices are to be used for study rather than entertainment.
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