With the current push for computer technology in the classroom, many schools are facing a greater liability regarding technology and online learning. Schools can help defuse these problems by adopting an Acceptable Use Policy, or AUP, for the Internet. The Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is one of the most important documents a school will produce, as it will outline rules regarding Internet use on school property. Creating a workable AUP requires thoughtful research and strategy. The document must address a number of issues including personal safety, illegal activities, system security, privacy, plagiarism, copyright infringement and access to inappropriate materials. In addition, it should unequivocally rule the school’s technology property for educational purposes only. Student’s rights, such as free speech, access to information and due process, should be outlined in the document, as should the consequences for violating the Acceptable Use Policy. Below is A Checklist for Planning, Developing and Evaluating an AUP.
Does the school’s Acceptable Use Policy:
- Protect students from objectionable or questionable material?
- Protect students from contact with questionable persons who may exhibit deviant or objectionable behavior?
- Protect students from materials that encourage students to participate in destructive behavior?
- Provide consideration for privacy and access rights for students?
- Ensure that the Internet and related school equipment be used for educational uses only?
Acceptable Use Policy Audio
Listen to how Web 2.0 technologies has challenged and changed the concept of acceptable use. The audio link below presented by Joseph Bires will suggest ways to balance protecting students, teachers, and schools from the dangers of the Internet, while still integrating Web 2.0 technologies into the K-12 curriculum. Also, philosophical issues of acceptable use will be presented such as identity and transparency. Finally, practical suggestions will be shared to help every teacher and administrator. Reference: K12 Online Conference 2010
- Here is link to an excellent presentation from the Kansas Association of School Boards on all the technology-related legal issues facing schools now (about 2 hours long but very good).