In an online environment where classwork is completed it is important to be aware of the different communication laws that have been enacted. This is true in an online school as well as a brick and mortar school that has students working online. Most importantly, don’t post or have students post, any information that can identify the student. This is a FERPA requirement of al schools that receive public funding. Any personally identifiable information should be handled in a secure environment, which isn’t ever email. There are platforms available that are secure and require password information. This is where personal information and grades should be kept.

TCPA simple says that you must receive permission before sending out automated calls. This is why people need to opt into services such as Amber Alert notifications and School wide phone alerts.

When work is made publicly available, get permission first. If you have a class blog that isn’t password protected talk to parents and students about who can see the information. All of this should be part of a general digital citizenship process.

When talking about digital citizenship it is always important to emphasize the importance of copyright and plagiarism. Students, and teachers, need to understand that materials can be used, in moderation, under the Fair Use Act with credit given. Explain to students the importance of first looking for information that has a Creative Commons license. They should become familiar with the different types as they start to research on the internet. Suggest, that whenever possible, they link to the original source when using materials that they find.

Here are a good set of lessons on teaching students about copyright. This is a good site to go to if you have questions.

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