Digital Technology: Safe and responsible use in schools

The following guide is a companion to the Guidelines for the surrender and retention of property and searches.

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Understanding digital technology and information

Education is changing. Digital technologies are everywhere and they are impacting what, where, how and why students learn, and who they learn from.

Digital information is different from its physical counterpart in many ways. It can be rapidly duplicated, easily distributed and is able to be stored in multiple locations. These factors mean that it can be hard to control and completely eliminate.

Having an appreciation of these unique characteristics is key to developing an effective prevention and incident response plan. However, the effect is most keenly felt when a school needs to respond to an incident involving misuse of digital technology. School staff may feel that they do not have sufficient control over the digital technology involved to achieve a successful outcome.

The reality is, however, having greater control does not necessarily equate to a better outcome. Schools are advised to recognise and understand the nature of the changes and challenges that digital technology have brought and develop systems and processes to manage these.