2023 OTIS Technology Use In the District Policy

This post was created on 05/22/2023.

As we approach the end of another successful school year, it's time to reflect on our accomplishments and prepare for the exciting opportunities that await us in the Fall. We know how essential technology is in our day-to-day operations, enhancing our teaching, learning environments, and supporting our students' journey towards academic success.

To ensure a smooth transition and a successful start to the new school year, we would like to bring your attention to some critical updates and clarifications regarding our Acceptable Use of Technology Devices policy on campus.  These guidelines are part of our proactive efforts to enhance data security, protect our students' privacy, and prolong the lifespan of our technology assets.  We believe these measures will contribute to an even more efficient and safer learning environment.

Please review the following points with care:

  1. Personal Computers at Work - Prohibited - As previously announced, employees are not allowed to use their personal computers for work purposes while on campus in lieu of their assigned district device.  Moreover, Pasco County Schools will not offer support for, nor be liable for any damage to personal devices while on District premises.  In addition, Network usage agreements apply to anyone using a device while at work.
  2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Devices in the Classroom – Prohibited - The use of AI devices in the classroom is strictly prohibited. These devices raise substantial concerns regarding compliance with both the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as they constantly listen and store information on external servers managed by vendors such as Amazon and Google.  Moreover, their voice command responses may not be adequately filtered, potentially exposing students to inappropriate content.  The ban applies to both school-owned and personal devices.  If any AI devices are found in use, the Office of Technology and Information Services (OTIS) personnel are instructed to immediately disconnect and remove them.
  3. As a reminder from last year’s technology retention change, here it is again with updates. - To prolong the lifespan of technology devices, we have implemented a new policy that facilitates the extended use of your devices.  No longer will devices be marked for obsolescence based solely on age (previously 4 years).  As long as the operating system can accept critical security updates, we will maintain support for the respective technology.  Nonetheless, relying on older devices for student testing should not be the primary approach. By incorporating state-of-the-art technology in the assessment process, we can ensure that our students will have the opportunity to experience the most effective and innovative testing methods available. This approach will not only enhance their learning experience but also enable them to fully reap the numerous advantages that cutting-edge technology has to offer in the educational setting.  Please note that if an older device malfunctions, it may not be repairable.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding in these matters.  By adhering to these guidelines, we can continue to create a positive, efficient, and secure learning environment for our students.  Here's to finishing the school year strong and preparing effectively for the next!  Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to the Office for Technology and Information Services (OTIS).

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