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10 Tech Rules For Schools

1. Will protect the student from technologically driven exploitation and will not trade, sell, or give away digital access to students and student data.
Meaning: Privacy matters. Do not subsidize technological costs by giving away data. Say no to Google docs and Chromebooks, to Dropbox and Facebook, etc.

2. Will use only Open Source Linux Operating Systems.
Meaning: Get them out of the Corporate Store. Take control of the root to remove commercial influences and allow students to learn about alternative systems.

3. Will regulate the hours of Internet use and screen time that students receive in their school day.
Meaning: The Canadian Pediatric Society has set guidelines for screen technologies. Schools need to recognize their role in promoting healthy citizens.

4. Will develop a Technological Literacy Curriculum that concentrates on creating an understanding of how technology alters the individual, the society and the economy.
Meaning: By illuminating the powerful economic and social patterns of technology, we allow students to fully join the economic and cultural engine of their future.

5. Will teach a basic understanding of Computer Programming.
Meaning: We don't need to pretend everyone will need, want, or be interested in programming. We do need to realize how code generates value and how programs constrain the possible user outcomes.

6. Will supply a secure, encrypted, central storage system for student and school data, banning outside proprietary cloud services from being used by schools.
Meaning: Take back the control of the processes we previously controlled in order to protect privacy, while also supplying powerful computational and communication technology for students and staff.

7. Will only use Open Source Software and/or Freeware software.
Meaning: If it isn’t Freeware, our students can't explore it, use it, modify it, or share it. Open Source and Freeware give practice and meaning to programming and technological literacy. It allows students to remove themselves from the commercially designed outcome of dependency and consumption.

8. Will create an infrastructure to develop educational technology communities wherein students design, write, build and alter open source educational software and hardware for the world educational community.
Meaning: Teach and practice technological understandings and skills within an environment that is real and useful for all society. Do not marginalize the technological infrastructure as being beyond student control. Give opportunity for student control.

9. Will only use NON-profiling search engines.
Meaning: Stop the ongoing practice of commercial exploitation and behavior modification that is rampant within the biases of commercial search engines. Switch from Google to Duck Duck Go or StartPage.

10. Will only use NON-surveillance and NON-tracking software.
Meaning: Stop the ongoing exploitation and behavior modification of our students. Act to stop surveillance capitalism.

These 10 rules were formed in response to the laissez-faire adoption of the educational technological infrastructure which in too many cases has little to do with current research in how technology effects student learning and student health.
These rules are meant to protect the student from the ongoing surreptitious exploitations that the technological commercial web brings into the classroom, and which are also programmed into the school's commercial operating systems.
Adoption of these rules will mean an increase in learning outcomes associated with technology, a halt to the problematic and negative consequences associated with 'surveillance capitalism, while assisting in improving the health and well-being of our students.
The articles which follow give a rationale for the implementation of these rules.
Click here to download "10 Tech Rules for Schools" a Magazine in pdf format: