Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Acceptable Use Policy Overload

  When I first started researching my district's acceptable use policy (AUP), I was bombarded with an eight page document that I needed to reread several times in order to grasp the concepts and big ideas. Those eight pages did not include the additional two pages of a filtering policy, the two pages for cyber bullying and social networking education,  the four page staff AUP signature agreement, or the eight page student AUP signature agreement. I wanted to take the student AUP and modify that, however when I pulled it up, parts were blacked out and I was unable to read the majority of it. I decided to look at the eight page AUP along with the policy in place for filtering. I took the two of those documents and condensed them into a one page document. I did keep a lot of the terminology but also tweaked it so that it is a little more user friendly.

Here is my revised addition of my district's current AUP:
I also chose to incorporate some of the key ideas that caught my attention from the YouTube video featuring  Bud Hunt, Joe Wood and Mike Gras. I appreciated Joe Wood's input that the network belongs to the children and teachers as they make up the majority usage, along with his closing relating to technology and policies being that it is all about education and expectations of behaviors. I took away that he was stating that  if staff and students are educated on behaviors and expectations for usage, you will have the community that Bud Hunt was stating in his final statement. I would like to believe that most teachers in our building understand the pressure that our technology department is under and look up to them as powerful resources whom we are grateful for whenever we see them enter our room, as it means they have heard our cries and are coming to rescue us! Bud Hunt also made me realize how stretched technology departments, within school districts, truly are. I know that our tech department would probably be better off with a  few more staff members which would help alleviate the long hours they put in all year long. They are just as much a district employee as I am and their job would run more smoothly if the other employees within the district were more educated on our technology resources. Finally, I feel that our tech department in our district does just what Mike Gras said, they trust their teachers. When I have a problem with a  site link not working or if we have a site that was once accessed (new security this past year) then we just have to fill out an online tech request and it will be taken care of. We even receive alerts when it has been assigned, who it is assigned to and once it has been resolved.
At the conclusion of the week's readings and assignment, I have a greater appreciation for the work that our technology department puts into our district, the policies it has to uphold as well as creating and revising policies with the school board. I would love to obtain access to our student AUP signature piece and reword that into terminology that my students would understand. That piece would make a wonderful mini lesson during the first week of school in order to make students fully aware of what they and their parents are signing for.

These links will take  you to my district's list of policies as well as the individual policies that I used to create my own:
TASD- Policies
TASD-Criteria for Filtering

Pyne Arts Technology. (Photographer). (2013). Student Acceptable Use Policy [Web Photo]. Retrieved from

Shareski, D. (2014, March 16) EDIM516 Network Filtering [Video file]. Retrieved from

University of Missouri-College of Veterinary Medicine. (Photographer). (2013). Acceptable Use Policy [Web Photo]. Retrieved from


  1. Holy crap that is quite an AUP. Wow. Considering you've even revised it, I can't imagine the original. I found the line under "responsibility" about giving access but keeping inappropriate thing out of reach somewhat ironic, as I do in my own district. Is that even possible, considering how vast and unpredictable the internet is? For example, when I watch "America the Story of Us" on YouTube with my kids, a somewhat inappropriate video has come up at the end to watch, based on who knows what kind of ad algorithm. Is that considered "inappropriate"? So difficult for school's these days!

  2. I think you should submit this to your district since I guarantee you no one reads the original. ;)

    One thing I don't see many policies addressing is bandwidth and the responsibility of both the district and its users. If it is a scarce resource, what responsibilities to each share in provision and protection? I see many people getting frustrated with poor access to media sites like Discovery Education and then find out 30 students have been trying to watch the same videos on their devices. I'd like to see more policies addressing this part of the network.

  3. Matt,
    The original was very long (8 pages) and extremely wordy. It is impossible, I believe to truly filter everything inappropriate out. There have been several instances, with YouTube, where I have pulled up a clip or even our morning announcements (digital media club makes them the afternoon before and they are on a YouTube channel) that the videos preselected that come up on the screen when the clip is completed are strange and I sometimes can't get the screen closed out quick enough before questions are being asked. I'm definitely thankful for the IT staff we do have and everything they do, it is a difficult job.

  4. DRS,
    I will have to think about forwarding this on to others in the district to see what they think. Certainly can't hurt to have a cliff notes version with modifications.
    It's interesting that you bring up the bandwidth. That is something that didn't even cross my mind, however, it is something that happens frequently, especially when iPads are being used or an entire computer lab is trying to access the same sites. It would be great for districts to start addressing that part of the network, as a lot of errors or problems may stem from that.