The message (below) was emailed to all ICCSD parents, and includes information regarding accounts and services provided to students.
In order to ensure that parents and guardians are aware of the technology services that the Iowa City Schools provide to our students, this is the first of what will be annual notifications regarding district-issued accounts.
Google Accounts: All students in grades K-12 are provided with Google Apps for Education accounts, which allow students to log in to Google services such as Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Maps, and YouTube. Further, these accounts allow students to log in to Chromebooks, which are available as student-accessible devices within all of the district’s schools. We do implement some limitations on district-issued Google accounts, including a restriction that students in 6th grade and below can only send/receive emails within the Iowa City Schools domain. Students in grade 7 and above can send email to and receive email from any domain, though all email is subject to spam filtering.
Network Accounts: All students in grades K-12 receive district network accounts, which allow them to log on to district computers and access the network, including the internet. All students in grades 2 and above log in with their own usernames, and login days, times, and destinations are logged (though not actively monitored by IT staff). Student access to the internet is filtered through our district firewall, which receives daily updates to filtering definitions to prevent access to inappropriate content. Content filtered by the district includes content that we are federally required to filter per the Children’s Internet Protection Act, content that is dangerous to the network or our users (such as malware-infected sites or files, web proxies, or other content specifically designed to compromise network security). Some additional content is blocked if it is determined to have no educational benefit and carries a danger to our students or is detrimental to our learning environments. Further decisions with regard to this type of discretionary filtering will be made by the district technology council, a representative committee that includes, teachers, administrators, parents, students, and technology staff.
Curricular Accounts: Components of our curriculum sometimes require access to online services beyond those listed above. In cases where those require account access, the district provides accounts to students. Examples of these types of online services include curriculum publishers’ online resources (such as Pearson online), online software required by our curricular program (such as Android App Inventor for computer science), and online databases and other digital resources used for research and instruction. In each case, software is vetted by both our Curriculum & Instruction and Technology & Innovation departments.
Device Access: All of our schools have a variety of student accessible labs and carts outfitted with computers, Chromebooks, iPads, and other devices available for student use, and many classrooms have room-assigned devices available to students.
Digital Citizenship & 21st Century Skills: Students in all grade levels in the Iowa City Community School District engage in digital citizenship learning opportunities, which are designed to provide information about, model, and instill in our students positive and safe online behaviors. This curriculum addresses topics in an age-appropriate sequence that includes cyber-bullying awareness and prevention, safe social media practices, and digital footprint, among other topics. In addition to digital citizenship, our 21st century skills curriculum also focuses on:
- Creativity and innovation
- Communication and collaboration
- Research and information fluency
- Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making
- Technology operations and concepts