Artifact Introduction: During our sixth week in Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum, we were to read chapter six in Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching and other articles, as well as analyze our own & other school district’s Acceptable Use Policies to develop a complete understanding of them. We were then to demonstrate our understanding by describing Acceptable Use Policies and their specifications.
With the increased use of technology in education comes Acceptable Use Policies (AUP’s) in order to ensure students are safe online and accessing appropriate materials. An Acceptable Use Policy is a management plan in guideline format to ensure the appropriate use of technology in education, business, and other organizations. AUP’s are contract agreements made between staff, students, and parents indicating their cooperation to ensure the internet is being used ethically and educationally.
Robyler (2016) defines AUP’s as “an agreement created by a school or other educational organization that describes the risks involved in Internet use; outlines appropriate, safe student behavior on the Internet, asks students if they agree to use the Internet under these conditions; and asks what information about themselves, if any, may be posted on the school’s website.” and as as a document “that outlines appropriate use of school technologies for students and educators.” That being said, no two AUP’s are identical, each organization can create their own that is personalized to their needs. According to Roblyer, (2016) the biggest reason AUP’s are necessary is because of “the increasing likelihood of students being contacted by online predators, or student accessing inappropriate material”.
To combat these problems, and protect both the students and themselves, AUP’s frequently include the following information.
- What is allowed for students to do with technology
- What needs to be avoided by students when using technology
- Guidelines for teachers monitoring student technology use
- Consent signature/agreement from parents for students to utilize technology
- Consent signature/agreement from students agreeing to terms
- Disciplinary measures if contract is broken
As previously stated, AUP’s can vary in information, depth, and guidelines but all must adhere to the provisions set forth in 2000 by The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). According to an article in Education World, the NEA (National Education Association) makes the case for an acceptable AUP to include the following
- Preamble (AUP purpose)
- Definition (term clarification)
- Policy Statement (AUP coverage explanation)
- Acceptable Uses (encouraged behavior)
- Unacceptable Uses (unaccepatble behavior)
- Violations (reporting & consequences)
The AUP for the Boise School District is a document that is hard to find embedded on page 73 of the 277 page document that outlines all guidelines students must abide by while in the District. It does include all of the sections listed above. The most extensive portion of the Boise School District’s AUP is the unacceptable uses of technology section. It is not written in student-friendly terms which is unfortunate but it does clearly identify the reasons technology is used. The Charlotesville City Schools’ AUP is very similar to the Boise School District’s. However, their definition section is much clearer than the short section BSD had. Another thing I noticed about Charlotesville’s is that the terminology was also not written in student friendly terms but instead use a lot of technology jargon. The San Francisco Unified School District’s AUP (p. 78) had sections of classroom use that explained the purpose and use of technology in the classroom as well as a section on electronic communication which went over netiquette. I think those componets are valuable for an AUP in a school setting. Campbell Hall has a great AUP that outlines their guidelines in a easy-to-read, student friendly format, this was by far my favorite, as I see it being much easier to explain, implement and follow.
Common Sense Media (a wonderful resource for parents and educators on technology use) clearly outlines the importance of internet safety using guidelines such as AUP’s.
Internet safety goes way beyond protecting kids from strangers or blocking inappropriate content. It’s about helping your kids use the Internet productively and practice safe, responsible online behavior — especially when you’re not there to answer their questions or check in on where they’ve ventured (Common Sense Media, n.d.).
Acceptable Use Policies help ensure all stakeholders are on the same page and adhere to a set of guidelines to ensure students success with technology in education. These are just the first step in helping schools implment technology effectively in classrooms.
Common Sense Media: An overall guide to all digital media and safety.
Federal Communications Commission (2015) Consumer guide: Children’s internet protection act. Retrieved from https://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/cipa.pdf
Getting started on the internet: Developing an acceptable use policy (aup). (2011). Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr093.shtml.
Roblyer, M.D. (2016). Integrating educational technology into teaching (7th Ed.) Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.
Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection: This assignment required me to explore Acceptable Use Policies and consider the connection they have with technology integration. I got the experience to really become familiar with various AUP’s and analyze the similarities and differences between them.
- AECT Standard 1.3 Assessing/Evaluating: For this analysis I had to assess and evaluate Acceptable Use Policies and their role in effective technology implementation.
- AECT Standard 5.3 Ethics: For this reflection I had to conduct research and analyze accepted professional (p. 296) and institutional (p. 297) guidelines and procedures.
- AECT Standard 4.3 Reflection on Practice: – I had to analyze, interpret and reflect upon effectiveness of the design, development and implementation of Acceptable Use Policies to enhance their professional growth.