Course 1 was interesting however I already have been helping teachers to set up their own WordPress Blogs, Twitter and Google docs accounts (for those that show interest). So it was about 20% new things for me. This course was totally different. I learned so many news things but at he end I have the sensation of studying disconnected subjects. Only when I started do design and reflect about a new way to introduce a RUP did I finally connect all the dots!
This semester was very difficult for me to collaborate with my COETAIL colleges because of my health situation. Between a sick leave, a surgery and moving to another country and another school, I managed to get connected with them mostly trough my twitter account and my comments on blogs. I ended up collecting individual and collaborative works and adding on to my ongoing project about network policies and security with my college Fernando that is the IT manager from E.S.C.O.L.A, another International School in Luanda.
Even with the advancement of sharing tools these days I have always prefered a face-to-face meeting with the local school IT Managers around me. Every school that I’ve worked at has become a ‘lab’ where other schools can come and exchange experiences and implement new things.
Back to the final project, the main questions was not about the RUP or AUP or whatever new document with 3 acrimonious letters. In fact the main question was:
How can we make students, teachers and staff understand the big concepts that involve the proper use of digital resources? Things like copyright, cyber-bullying, licensing, good digital citizens and digital manners? (IT policies should be signed by all members of the school, not just students)
It was pretty clear from the beginning that a simple document will not be enough to accomplish this matter alone. So we decided to create a system that engaged people to manage their own responsible use knowledge and reward themselves. The system proposed here was inspired by common drive licenses process and gaming engagement.
The system is defined by 3 elements. RUP + Quiz Game + Level Access. All the 3 elements are connected and work live together.
As in real life if you want to drive a bus you should have a different knowledge and get a different drivers license specfically for that. The same thing if you want to pilot a boat, jet-ski or drive a motorcycle. Every equipment/resource requires a different knowledge or skill set. And here we apply the same concept, implementing rewards. So…
Why should we put the majority of school expenses for high speed Internet bandwidth for members that want to watch music video clips or play Battlefield 3, instead of using it for learning, creating and sharing knowledge?
Lets educate and qualify the school community members on RUP and reward those who use Internet in a productive way.
So basically, this is how it works (we tested it with students from Year 5 as a Beta test). Students receive a copy of our RUP in Google Docs that contains a hyperlinks embedded for all the subjects we consider essential knowledge for using our technological resources. Subjects include copyright, cyber-bullying, licensing, good digital citizens, digital manners, digital footprint, etc…After a week they sign the PDF electronically (no paper please) with their username and password. From this point they receive an e-mail with a hyperlink and instructions to a Quiz that has more than 50 questions divided by subject areas. The Quiz is what we call adaptive. If you get three answers right from the same subject the game stops asking you more questions related to that topic (nobody deserves answers 50 questions). At the end of the Quiz you receive a level access that will allow you to increase your bandwidth and Internet access privileges. As technology evolves rapidly, every year the level of access of everyone is normalized and a new Quiz starts again.
Consideration about this method.
1. Everyone in the school independently of getting the Quiz done has normal Internet access without any restrictions (according with the SLT resolution about the Internet filters for different groups)
2. The Quiz only increases ones level, never decreases. People can take the Quiz as much as they want if the result from the current Quiz is worse than your previous scores. If your score doesn’t increase you stay at your current level.
3. Increased level of access gives you more bandwidth(Internet speed) on your username, access to the school Internet from home (VPN), a chance to migrate your personal devices such as cell phone and tablets from guest networks to the school network, etc…
4. The bank of questions is subdivide into 3 banks (Lower, Middle and Upper School) because the perception and RUP is different from each school level. We only implemented the Middle School.
5. This proposal is very specific to an IT environment and should be implemented by your technology department. If interested, contact me for more details.
6. At the end of this quiz there is a small Microsoft Visual Basic script to increase the level of access for each student. Otherwise this will become a nightmare for the technology department to manage.
7. Results were fantastic. In less than 1 week half of students already have upgraded their Internet level access and increased their knowledge about our policies.
Have a FANTASTIC summer!