Student Life

Technology Policy

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  1. Introduction
  2. Staff Access to Institutional Data
  3. Copyright
  4. Internet Access
  5. E-Mail
  6. World Wide Web
  7. Responsible Use
  8. Unacceptable Use
  9. Use of NIACC Computer labs

Introduction

The technology facilities and services provided by North Iowa Area Community College, including computing, telecommunications and media services, are primarily intended for teaching, learning, student support, and administrative purposes. NIACC encourages staff and students to make appropriate and innovative use of such resources to further their learning. The use of technology and information resources is governed by all applicable College faculty, staff, and student policies as well as applicable federal, state, and local laws and statutes. It is not the intent of NIACC to provide access to technology and information resources for alumni, the general public, or for private use.

NIACC provides a number of computer labs to the general College population for course work and related educational endeavors. In addition, students enrolled in credit classes are offered a temporary personal Internet account, renewable each semester they are enrolled at NIACC. The policies outlined here apply to the use of these accounts.

Staff Access to Institutional Data

The value of data as an institutional resource is increased through its widespread and appropriate use; its value is diminished through misuse, misinterpretation, or unnecessary restrictions to its use.

Access to NIACC institutional data – the permission to view or query institutional data – should be granted to all eligible employees of NIACC for legitimate College purposes. Network accounts (usernames) will be administered by NIACC Technology Services for all staff.

Data users will be expected to access institutional data only in their conduct of College business, to respect the confidentiality and privacy of individuals whose records they may access, to observe any ethical restrictions that may apply to data to which they have access, and to abide by applicable laws and policies with respect to access, use, or disclosure of information.
Expressly forbidden is the disclosure of limited-access or internal institutional data or the distribution of such data in any medium except as required by an employee’s job responsibilities. Also forbidden is the access or use of any institutional data for one’s own personal gain or profit, for the personal gain or profit of others, or for political purposes.

Personal usernames and passwords should not be shared or used by another person. Violators will be subject to disciplinary action. Computer resources – both hardware and files stored on computers or servers are considered to be the property of the College.

Copyright

NIACC recognizes and adheres to the U.S. and International copyright laws, software licenses, and intellectual property rights associated with both print and non-print materials. NIACC forbids, under any circumstances, the unauthorized reproduction of music, video, audio, or software, or use of illegally obtained software, or gathering or distribution of illegally obtained copyrighted digital materials. Using College equipment for any of these purposes is prohibited. NIACC employees and students who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action. Individuals who violate U.S. copyright law and software licensing agreements also may be subject to criminal or civil action by the owner of the copyright.

Sharing Copyrighted Materials

Distributing copyrighted songs and/or movies without permission is a violation of the Federal copyright laws. Individuals who violate U.S. copyright law and software licensing agreements also may be subject to criminal or civil action by the owner of the copyright. NIACC will cooperate with any criminal investigation regarding these matters. According to copyright laws, you do not need to be making a profit to be prosecuted for distributing copyrighted materials such as music, movie, and software files.

See also – Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws

Internet Access

The Internet is an electronic communications system connecting millions of computers and individual users from all over the world. Internet access is coordinated through a complex association of government agencies, state, and regional networks. Smooth operation of the network relies on the proper conduct of all of its end users.

With access to computers and to people from all over the world, it is possible that users may access materials that might not be considered to be of educational value, may be controversial, offensive, or inaccurate. Any and all access and use of information or materials obtained via the Internet is at the user’s own risk. NIACC does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy and/or quality of information obtained through its Internet services.

It is expected that each NIACC employee and student will follow ethical and professional guidelines and abide by College policies when using College computer equipment and services to access the Internet.

E-Mail

Electronic mail or E-mail accounts will be available to all NIACC staff, students enrolled in credit classes, and in certain circumstances temporary accounts for students in Continuing Education classes. E-mail can be used internally for campus communications or via the Internet for electronic communications around the world. Appropriate use of E-mail for Collegerelated activities will be expected. While electronic messages being sent or stored on networks or servers will be considered by NIACC to be private communications and the responsibility of the staff member or student, users should be aware that it is possible for a hacker or a network administrator at any point along the worldwide Internet communication path to intercept and view documents. NIACC will not be held liable for individual use of electronic mail or use of the Internet.

World Wide Web

The World Wide Web (WWW or web) provides an opportunity for NIACC to have a presence in the Internet community for public relations, to provide information, and for educational purposes. NIACC’s web site represents the College’s programs, policies, and image to the world. Development of web pages will be encouraged by NIACC departments, staff, and students (as part of an instructional activity), and should be maintained by each to remain current, accurate, and to appropriately represent the College. NIACC will recommend standards for NIACC web pages on the Internet, but will not be liable for the content of personal web pages.

Responsible Use:

The user bears the primary responsibility for the material that he or she chooses to access, send, or display. Respect the rights of others by complying with all College policies. Remember that you are representing the College in all of your communications.

Use only computer IDs or accounts and communications facilities which you are authorized to use, and use them for the purposes for which they were intended. Do not let others use your username or password. Students will be responsible for maintaining their own files that are stored on network drives including deleting files no longer in use, and copying files that they want to save to removable media.

Staff will be responsible for maintaining their own files that are stored on network drives including deleting files no longer in use. Do not use up valuable network storage resources with unnecessary and outdated files.

Unacceptable Use:

The following unacceptable activities may result in suspension or revocation of this privilege, disciplinary action, as well as
possible legal and civil action by the copyright owner and/or the College.

    1. Unauthorized copying, downloading, or transferring of copyrighted music, video, audio, software (including operating systems, applications and games, databases, or code) or other licensed or copyrighted material.
    2. “Computer hacking” (i.e. unwanted or unsolicited entry into a computer system).
    3. Knowingly introducing a “computer virus” to a computer or network (i.e. a program – either harmless or damaging – which attaches itself to another program and/or has the capability to reproduce in order to infect other computers).
    4. Unauthorized access, willful damage, or misuse of systems, applications, databases, code, or data.
    5. Use of the campus network, the Internet, ICN, or other telecommunications or data networks for actions that constitute harassment (as defined by the NIACC Harassment Policy). This includes introducing inappropriate materials to the network, displaying for others to view or hear, or printing on College printers.
    6. Using the network or College equipment to conduct personal business for one’s own personal gain or profit, for the personal gain or profit of others, for solicitation of services, or for political lobbying or campaigning.
    7. Allowing others to use your personal username and password to access campus networks or the Internet.

The above items in this section are all unacceptable activities.

Use of NIACC Computer Labs:

    1. First priority use is for scheduled classes and workshops.
    2. Second priority use is for students doing assignments required for classes, or staff preparing for a class.
    3. Third priority use is for other academic uses such as exploration of the Internet and E-mail.

Please limit your time at the computers to one hour when there are other students or staff waiting. If you are not doing work specifically for a class, you may be asked to yield your spot to those who have class assignments to complete. Students violating the Technology Policies or the NIACC Student Conduct Code will be asked to leave and may face loss of computer and Internet privileges and/or disciplinary action.