I enjoyed the personal interaction with them all as it gave us a good chance to talk tech and discuss the importance and relevance of building an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for using technology.
After looking at the 4 divisional Acceptable Use Policies (Grades KA-2; 3-5; Middle and High schools), we decided that the Grades 3-5 document needed the most work. The original version was well meaning and written for its target audience, but it was 11 pages long, and each of the 20 points was followed up with a cartoon. Although the guidelines were valid, the document itself was too wordy and difficult to follow.
In recreating the Grade 3-5 AUP we pulled from a number of different sources, including the original TAS policies. We also looked at published AUPs from the International School of Bangkok, Norfolk County Schools, and recommendations from iSAFE America and Illinois District schools. We unanimously decided to use the current TAS Middle School format which follows the TAS values of Honesty, Respect, Responsibility and Kindness. We then added a new section that we all felt was necessary called “Safety”.
We used many of the existing points from the previous G3-5 document, discarded others and made the points more concise. We then categorised them under the five values headings. We also added both a Philosophy and Consequences statement, as well as a requirement for the student and their parent to sign the document. We felt that this held the students accountable and gave their parents a complete awareness of expectations and guidelines for technology use at TAS.
Overall I am happy with the end result. It has not been presented to our Technology department at this stage, as it is still a work in progress. I think when we reach a point where we all feel that this is the best AUP we can produce then we will look to submit it. I would like to see all of our divisional AUPs based on the same format, and have all of them revolve around our 4 school values as well as including a Safety section.