Collaborative, reflective projects are things I enjoy. They provide the opportunity to look at how and why things are done and then step back to see what would work best for a given situation. COETAIL Course Two gave me the chance to look at our Acceptable Use Policy as well as those for other schools.
Things I noticed while looking at A.U.P.s for both international schools and schools in the States…
- sometimes they are broken down by grade level – ECE, primary, upper grades, MS, and HS
- some appear outdated referencing things like digital bulletin boards
- some are very negative – all “Do Not”
- some pose things in a positive light – “I will…”
many are very long
I worked with two other teachers (both at the same school), sharing some examples I had found and reading through their draft. My biggest suggestion to them was to rephrase their policy into positive language, which they did. (I am not naming them because they don’t know what is coming next and may not want to have anything to do with what I am about to say.)
After all of this reading and reflecting, collaborating and sharing, something wasn’t sitting right with me. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then I was on a COETAIL, Big Marker, ‘conference call’ in which Jeff Utecht made a comment about how nice it would be if the A.U.P. just said, "Do No Harm".
My brain has been churning on it ever since. That is exactly the kind of A.U.P. I envision. I have sat down several times to finalize my proposed A.U.P. and write this post, but it doesn’t make sense to me.
- Why can’t it be about making good choices?
- Why do we have to spell out what all of the possible choices are?
- Aren’t we trying to encourage thinking?
- Don’t we want students to have to think through their actions before they act?
- What if some new technology appears during the school year that isn’t covered by the A.U.P.?
So, if anyone wants to use it, here is my proposed A.U.P. (I am sending this link to my new principal.)
Make Good Choices.
(Consequences available for poor ones.)