At Tatachilla, we use Essential Agreements as a powerful way of bringing out the best in both individuals, small groups, year levels and entire schools. Essential agreements are a collection of positively framed statements devised by those who will be directly affected by them. At Tatachilla Lutheran College we recommend that families develop their own essential agreement to guide technology use outside of school. This is an opportunity for dialogue between parent and child about expectations, responsibilities and privileges. The template available for download below was designed to help Tatachilla families develop sound and responsible habits when using technology and can be extended to include all mobile technology.
- may not contravene any existing rules established by the ICT Acceptable Use Agreement (see the Junior School or Middle/Senior Schools agreements);
- should be short and concise;
- should include contributions from both parent/caregiver and child;
- should be something that everyone agrees on; and
- should be signed by both parent/caregiver and student.
Suggested Discussion Points
- Time limits: How much time is the student allowed to spend on the device for homework use? For personal use? Are there hours of the day when it should never be turned on? Are there special considerations for weekends as opposed to school nights or school holidays?
- Location of device use: Does the student have to use the device in a common area (e.g. kitchen, family room)? Can the student use the device in their bedroom? Can it be taken outside?
- Location of charging and backup: Where does it reside overnight or when the student is not using it?
- Supervision: Can the student use the device when no adults are present? Can the student use the device when not in direct view of the parent? What level of privacy can the student expect (e.g. parent reviewing logs)? Should the student share their passwords so that parents have access to the accounts? What will the expectations be for having friends over or going to a friend’s house?
- Content limits: What nature of internet content should be avoided? How will uncomfortable situations that may arise at home or at a friend’s house be managed? How will parent restrictions, book marks be managed? What games are allowed? When can they be used? How will privacy be protected online?