Policies, Plans, and Procedures / by Tyler Wood

Since I am in Korea, the rules protecting children in the USA do not apply to my school; however, Korea has a few different rules for protection as well. Most of these rules are from the government, not the school and are written in Korean. I can't cite anything specific without it being in Korean, but I can explain what they do.

The first thing that protects kids, but actually applies to the whole country, is the block on pornography. There is a ban on pornography countrywide here, for all people. So accessing porn sites is mostly blocked by the government so there is no need to have that particular safety net at school. There is a government mandated protection of juveniles (Juvenile Protection Act) in place that requires the same rules for all schools on top of that. This is the information I was given when asked what our school policy was. Our school technically doesn't have a student use policy, it's a government policy we must abide by. That policy has a site blocking program called NAT (not sure what it stands for) that blocks additional sites not appropriate for children, though I couldn't get a list of them. They also have a p2p block that bans all downloading sites as well. They require that students and teachers to use different IP's so that the access is different for searching for school materials. Of course, the teacher's block is less limiting. We are still blocked from gmail and sometimes facebook, but that is up to the school.

They also require all students and teachers to have accounts we have to log into to use anything on-line, so they can keep track of what has been used and when. There is software installed, I was told, that keeps track of downloads and problem sites and the school is given a rating. Schools are supposed to maintain a 100 rating (no problem downloads) and if they don't the IT people will investigate and try and figure out what is happening or change the blocks to fix the problem.

On the subject of strictness and over-blocking, I am in a different position than teachers in the US because the first sites targeted with blocks in Korea are Korean sites. Besides pornography, the English sites are nearly all available because the IT guys don't always understand what the English sites are saying. Anyone can see the pornography and block it, but sites without pornography, but still possibly inappropriate, are usually allowed simply because they don't know its content well enough. It could be argued that the children would have the same view of it and it won't be a problem, but I would say that the children are much more clever at finding bad things. However, the children are always monitored in school and doing something specific, so I don't think they would ever be surfing the web for random sites at school, so the blocks are relatively pointless in practice.

I think the only problem with strictness is our (teachers) block of gmail because I tend to send myself files sometimes if I don't have my USB. It has made me think of alternatives, or not to forget my USB though, so it isn't that bad now. 

I personally don't have a problem with children accessing social media during school hours because there are ways to utilize that for class, as long as they are being monitored in school. However, that is irrelevant in my school because, like I mentioned, the kids have no time alone to access what they want in school. The only times they are on-line is when they are in computer class and doing something as a class or taking the SRI test through the schools website. I haven't seen any children on a computer doing research or surfing the web freely. Cell phones are prohibited at school, so they are not on-line there either. The kids have cell phones, of course, but they are locked in a glass case in the homeroom until after school by their Korean homeroom teacher, so they are not sneaking a peek at anything with that. Once they leave the school, then they can access what they wish, but they are almost always picked up by their parents or monitored on the bus, so they have little to no time between being monitored by teachers to being monitored by parents. It makes it easy to believe they aren't accessing anything inappropriate on-line, but makes me feel a little sad that they have no alone time or free time for themselves either. Click the link below to see a more detailed breakdown of policies in my school and classroom. 

Policy in My School and Classroom 


For more information about international standards click the button below.


학교 정보보안 관리 (School Information Security Management) *This was printed for me, I don't have the information for citing properly.

International Society for Technology in Education. (2010). National education technology standards. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards

Ministry of Gender Equality and Family. (2014) Retrieved from http://www.mogef.go.kr/korea/view/policyGuide/policyGuide07_04_07.jsp

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