IT Guidelines

IT Guidelines for Computer/Electronic Devices in Homestay

Homestay caregivers are required to provide as a minimum, internet access for students to communicate with family members and completing homework and study tasks.  Most homework tasks set by school are required to be completed using online applications, in particular ‘google’ drive.  In today’s society, students access the internet for social and recreational purposes.  For example, Facebook, Skype, MSN, QQ and YouTube.

Students must not use their Homestay families’ internet to access inappropriate or offensive websites or for downloading copyright/file sharing material, for example, movies or music.  This is a New Zealand Law.  The Law is called Copyright (Infringing file Sharing) Amendment Act 2011.  There is more information about the New Zealand file sharing law available to view www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2011/0011/latest/DLM2764312.html.

Homestay caregivers who become aware of inappropriate or excessive internet use should discuss this with their student(s) in the first instance.  If such issues cannot be managed by the caregiver and are of cause for concern, then they should be reported to the International Department.

Here are some suggestions of strategies that families use to manage and monitor internet use:

1.    Implement time restrictions, for example, internet may be available only between 5pm – 10pm during school nights with additional access granted at the weekend.

2.    Internet is made available only in a communal area such as an open living space to help caregivers monitor the sites accessed and internet use.

3.    Students can use the internet at school for study, homework and email.

4.    Students can use the public library.

5.    Free internet is available in some community areas and also some establishments, for example, local cafes.

6.    If a student is excessively using the internet on a regular basis, they can purchase a prepay internet access device for their own recreational use.

These guidelines also apply to other use of electronic media provided in the Homestay, for example, SKY TV, digital/video camera, iPhones/smart phones, mobile phones and landline.  This list is not exhaustive due to the constantly changing nature of modern technology.

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