School Internet Management

eduSTAR.ISP

eduSTAR.ISP is the centralised internet service for schools (see School email “S582-2009 Centralised Internet Services for Schools”). The service started from 1 January 2010.

Netspace Online Systems has been selected as the central supplier for internet services to schools.

Highlights of new service inclusions

  • No cost to schools for the new internet service from 2010
  • 4GB mailbox available for students, providing a school email account for all students
  • 5GB website available for each school
  • E-mail virus and SPAM filters

As eduSTAR.ISP is a shared facility for use by all schools, the Department will implement active bandwidth management to protect the integrity and operation of the service. This may include blocking inappropriate high volume traffic or restricting access.

The tools to manage both the schools' internet filters and student email accounts are available for each school. In order for students to participate in web 2.0 technologies including blogging or wikis they will require a school email account to allow them to manage their access and passwords. 

Student email addresses should not include student names or other identifying information. Schools can use a series of numbers, for example 321034@myschool.vic.edu.au

Netspace contact details

Telephone: 03 9811 0076
E-mail: education@netspace.net.au
Website: www.netspace.net.au

Global2 blogging community for schools

Global2 is an Edublog blogging campus, purchased and managed by the Department. Schools are able to set up class, teacher or student blogs, communicate and teach students to use social media safely and responsibly.

All Victorian government and Catholic schools are able to set up a blog or a wiki for educational purposes. Global2 allows blogs to have private, local or Global audiences. http://global2.vic.edu.au

Edulist

The Edulist is the approved list of websites that are readily available within both FUSE and Connect. To provide a highly controlled and protected environment for student safety schools may wish to allow access to the Edulist sites only. Schools wishing to extend access beyond these sites must consider the educational purpose and safety implications of other sites.

The Cybersafety Help Button is a new Australian Government initiative designed to keep children and families safe online. It is an online resource that gives children and young people easy access to cybersafety help and information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The button is a free application available from the website of the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. Once downloaded, it sits on the computer desktop or within the taskbar. When the button is clicked, users are taken directly to a web page where they can talk, report or learn about cybersafety issues. 

For more information, see: Cybersafety​ Help Button

Filtering

The internet service provided to schools is a filtered service. Each school has the ability to allow or block a website at the school level. This is one of the tools provided by the eduSTAR.ISP service.

Each school has a password that gives them access to this tool. The school’s principal will lead and allocate both a process and responsibility. The principal may wish to delegate permission to a person/s who will then have the capacity to allow and/or block sites for their school. To allow access to a site, schools must consider the quality and safety of the site. Sites must have sound educational value and must be delivered in a way that provides an appropriate level of safety. 

It is recommended that:

  1. A team within the school review the websites.
  2. The team should include curriculum and technical experts and student representatives.
  3. The inclusion or denial of sites should be considered in view of their educational quality and their potential to impact positively on student outcomes and their level of safety in particular, their potential risks.
  4. Teachers are made aware of when and how long sites will be available, who can access them and what role a teacher has in supervising this online space.
  5. Appropriate behaviours around the use of sites should be defined and identified. These behaviours should be taught explicitly within the school's curriculum.

Procedure for allowing and blocking sites

The process for allowing and blocking access to sites is usually a simple process, particularly if the content is clearly inappropriate for a school.  A site can be blocked at the school immediately. To allow a site it may take up to 30 minutes. Schools are able to allow and deny sites permanently or for a session or a day. This administration will only apply at their school. A school may wish to contact the ISP to have a site assessed for all schools (see ISP contact details below).

** Filtering services on internet are provided to support schools in the provision of appropriate content. Filters are not fool proof and require both appropriate supervision and guidance by teachers and responsible behaviours by students.

During trials and pilots run by the Department a number of schools investigated the use of streaming media sites such as YouTube.

Fairhills High School allowed students to access YouTube. The students viewed videos highlighting contemporary Japanese culture. After viewing these videos students developed their own videos using their Japanese language skills. These were posted to YouTube therefore being presented to a global authentic audience. According to Stephen Heppell’s Me, We, See schema, the global audience is defined as a ‘See’ space and requires attention to potential risks

The school managed the use of YouTube to ensure it was accessed in a safe and controlled way by:

  • negotiating and defining appropriate behaviours with students
  • defining the times when the site was available
  • communicating with parents
  • informing all staff about the space, and
  • identifying areas of risk such as the upload feature of YouTube which would require some supervision.

When allowing students to upload videos to public spaces it is important to get written permission, see: Consent Forms and Templates

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