The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District adopted several new policies related to technology at the school board meeting Thursday, July 12th.

Some of the policies are required as conditions for the acceptance of technology grants and others are for enforcing the operation of technology protection measures for students, such as the Children’s Internet Protection Act.

The school board and district also believe that technology can greatly enhance the instructional program as well as the efficiency of the district and school site administration.

But they also realize that “careful planning is essential to ensure the successful, equitable and cost-effective implementation of technology-based materials, equipment, systems and networks.”

The new policies include:

ï Policy 0440 — District Technology Plan;

ï Policy 4040 — Employee Use of Technology;

ï Policy 6162.7 — Use of Technology in Instruction;

ï Policy 6163.4 — Student Use of Technology; and

ï Policy 6163.1 — Library Media Centers.

Under the District Technology Plan, superintendent Dianne Talarico will develop a plan to address the short- and long-term technology needs of the district.

As a basis for the plan, she will examine and compare the costs and benefits of various resources and identify the blend of technologies and level of services necessary to support the instructional program, according to the policy.

The Student Use of Technology policy will ensure that “all district computers with Internet access have a technology protection measure that blocks or filters Internet access to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography,” or material harmful to minors.

Staff will continue to supervise students who are using online services, the policy states.

Additionally, before using the district’s online resources, students and a parent or legal guardian must sign and return an “Acceptable Use Agreement,” which states that the district will not be held responsible “for the failure of any technology protection measures, violations of copyright restrictions or users’ mistakes or negligence.”

While these measures are already in place, they are now being formalized.

The Santa Monica-Malibu school board will next convene Thursday, August 9th.