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In this month’s TechByte, we’re diving into access to digital tools and resources. Nothing is more frustrating than meticulously planning a lesson for our students, only to have the “Go Guardian: Restricted - This website is blocked by your administrator” message interrupt their learning. Addressing this concern, let's explore answers to three of the most common questions on this topic.

How do I find RCS approved websites, software, and applications?

You can check the RCS Instructional Technology Matrix. These tools have been carefully vetted to provide accurate, reliable, and age-appropriate content. This list is consistently updated to include recently approved resources. 

How do I check if a website is blocked for a student?

Go Guardian Teacher has a built-in feature where you can check to see if a website is blocked for a student. Check out this short video to learn how.  

How do I request for a website, extension, or application to be unblocked? 

The first step is for a teacher or staff member to complete a Website/ Digital Tool Request. The request then goes to the appropriate curriculum and technology personnel. You can view the Instructional Technology Approval Process graphic to see the full scope of this review process. 

When evaluating and vetting applications, curriculum and technology reviews these four primary domains:

  1. Safe and Legal: Evaluate apps, sites, and services based on student data privacy, intellectual property respect, and legal data guidelines, following federal policies like CIPA, FERPA, and COPPA.
  2. Educational Value: Assess if the product aligns with educational initiatives and if similar existing solutions are already approved and used by the district. Determine how it will enhance student engagement, improve relevance, and personalize instruction.
  3. Equitable: Determine if the software meets specific student needs and if it can benefit multiple classes or schools, ensuring equitable access.
  4. Sustainable: Evaluate financial cost, training, and account management to assess the sustainability of the resource.

If you have any requests for additional websites or digital tools to be considered for approval, please submit a Website/ Digital Tool Request. The RCS Instructional Technology Matrix is still a work in progress. Your input will assist us in expanding our approved resources for the benefit of our classrooms.

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