For the final project for Course 2 I chose to work with a group to create an acceptable use policy for our school. Fellow COETAIL members Janette Haggith, Christina Botbyl and I met several times to discuss the needs of our school, the current state of any policies our school had, and the progress of our efforts. We divided the policy into divisions and each member of our group contributed in the division in which we teach. As I teach grade 3, I worked mainly on the pre-kindergarten to grade 2 and grades 3-5 sections which I have posted below. The policy can be viewed in its entirety in Christina’s blog post.
Our group began by searching the internet and the COETAIL website for other Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs) and gathering information from the technology departments at our school. We drafted our plan then consulted, reworked and wordsmithed awhile.
Here are some of the points that we took into consideration while working on our AUP:
1. We chose to phrase our statements in as positive a way as possible. We believe that by creating positive “I will…” statements the document takes on a personal tone that encourages student ‘buy-in’. We wanted our statements to reflect a sense of cooperative inclusion rather that a list of rules by which to abide.
2. We tried to keep our policy concise and use language that was appropriate to the age of the students in the division. This document is intended to be the starting point for discussion between students and parents as well as students and teachers so we felt that it should be written in simple, grade level appropriate language.
3. It took us awhile to come up with a general term to refer to all of the possible electronic devices to which the students may have access. We settled on ‘electronics’ to include, but not be limited to, iPads, computers, the internet, printers, scanners, digital cameras and video cameras. Who knows what amazing tools the future will bring!
4. We wanted to include statements that reflected our consideration of the importance of current issues in technology such as personal privacy, cyber-bullying, copyright and the access to potentially inappropriate material without making these issues appear threatening. It is our intention that our policy promotes and models responsible digital citizenship.
I think that our AUP is comprehensive and complete. It is my hope that the document that we have drafted will be used as a starting point for the team that will be created to roll out our 1:1 iPad initiative for the 2012-2013 school year. Such a document needs to be dynamic and the individuals who work with the AUP need to be flexible and open to the constant changes and fast pace that is the world of technology for 21st century learners.