Abbreviated Acceptable Use Policy

Standard

Acceptable Use of Technology and Digital Resources

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Image Accessed from AssistingTeachers.org

As adapted from Hershey High School’s Acceptable Use Policy.

Derry Township School District understands that using the Internet and accessing technology are essential parts of learning today. In order to provide the most consistent and secure access to the Internet and our districts’ computer network, these guidelines are put in place to adhere to our curriculum as well as meet the varied needs, learning styles, and abilities of all students.

ADMINISTRATION:

  • will make every effort to ensure resources are used properly by students, this includes  monitoring online activities of all users and maintaining a secure usage log of all internet usage and electronic communication.
  • have a responsibility to determine if any district technology resources are being used for unlawful or prohibited actions AND impose consistent consequences if inappropriate use is found.
  • will use technology protection measures such as filters to block Internet access to minors and adults for sites that are obscene or inappropriate.

STUDENTS:

  • must be aware that what they do on the district’s computers or network is subject to inspection. All emails and files can be read and accessed by DTSD. Treat all Internet activity as though someone else might eventually witness it.
  • must respect and protect the rights and privacy of ALL users of district technology resources and the Internet.
  • must not share account information (specifically passwords) and computers with anyone or log onto a computer as anyone other than themselves.
  • must not cyberbully or post anything to the Internet that could harm another person or his/her reputation. Technology shall not be used in any manner that causes another person stress or harm.
  • must not use district resources for anything that is against state and federal laws.

TEACHERS:

  • will ensure quality instruction using a variety of technology resources to suit the needs of diverse learners.
  • will monitor technology use in their classrooms to ensure appropriate behaviors.
  • will apply consistent and effective consequences for inappropriate use of district technological resources, including the Internet.
  • will not tolerate ANY cyberbullying or bullying either their classrooms or via technology. Teachers will report any perceived bullying to the administration.
  • will themselves adhere to the appropriate use policy for technology and model appropriate Internet and technology etiquette.

CONSEQUENCES:

Failure to abide by this policy will result in disciplinary action and assuming responsibility for damages caused by actions that do not abide by this policy. Severe infractions will result in contacting the police or other authorities.

Ultimately the goal of the school is to maintain a safe, secure, and productive environment for all students and faculty. Adhering to these policies are the first step in making sure all are successful and safe online!

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Image Accessed from KeepCalm-OMatic

While compiling this shortened version of my District’s AUP, I was surprised by how little cyberbullying is identified as being unacceptable and how unclear the consequences are for it. Since I unfortunately see cyberbyllying as a problem that is increasing in today’s society, I found this great resource for online safety and pathways to digital citizenship: CommonsenseMedia’s Cyberbullying Toolkit.

For other teachers, do you think your district does enough to prevent or in the least to deter use of the Internet as a means to bully? Do you have any tips to make AUPs more accessible and meaningful to students?

 

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8 responses »

  1. Erin,
    I think my building within my district is working towards educating students on bullying and cyber bullying through the Rachel’s Challenge initiative. I don’t believe though that most districts do enough to educate students on proper use of the internet or network and that students just see it as a free tool to use at their disposal. Your concise, organized and easy to read adapted AUP immediately caught my eye because it is the second one I have noticed where there is an emphasis on the positives (will, should) and not as heavily on the negatives (not). I didn’t think about that, but in my classroom I always emphasize the positives first followed by any consequences. Students hear so many negatives that they can’t remember them all and they just tune them out. However, if we teach them what the tools are to be used for and how to use them, we are teaching them instead of scolding them.
    Thanks for your take on your AUP!

    • Ashley, thank you for sharing this resource and for your feedback on my AUP. By focusing on the positive, hopefully we can encourage our students to understand their privilege and responsibility to act in a positive, community building manner online. I will definitely check out Rachel’s Challenge, as my school, unfortunately, does very minimal to proactively address bullying both online and in person.

  2. Erin,
    Like you,I was surprised at how little our AUP comments upon cyber bullying–especially since cyber bullying has been the core of the major disciplinary issues surrounding acceptable use. From social media bullying to kids making nasty comments on shared Google Docs while working in class, more kids are using technology in unacceptable ways rather than accessing unacceptable sites on the internet (although they try that, as well). Part of the problem is that filters lock out access but cannot stop students from misusing sites that are unacceptable. I had not heard of Rachel’s Challenge Initiative so I am going to look it up now! Thanks, Ashley.
    Kelly P.

    • Kelly, unfortunately I am seeing similar things to what you describe about the negative, unacceptable ways students are choosing to engage online. My school too tends to focus more on discipline instead of prevention. I hope the more aware adults become about the severity of online bullying, the more seriously they will act in putting in prevention measures to eliminate it.

  3. Erin,
    You did a wonderful job turning a six page document into a very sensible one page document. I like the way you included roles for administration, teachers and students. The words cyber bullying are left out of my district’s policy but they do mention that students cannot harrass other students.

    • Hi, Don, thank you for your input on my abbreviated version of my district’s AUP. Clearly outlining the roles that administrators, teachers, and students have in ensuring a safe, collaborative environment online might encourage all parties to realize how important it is to work together for the betterment of all.

  4. Erin,

    I really liked how it was brief and to the point. It told each group exactly what was expected of them and only really what they needed to know. It makes it easy to search for the category to which you belong. I was wondering if you considered adding anything about requests to allow access to sites that might be restricted by the filtering technology?

    Codie

  5. Erin,

    I like that you sorted you AUP by the roles of each person. It makes what everyone is responsible very clear.

    As for your question at the end of your post, I would first like to say that I don’t think we, as a society, are educating our students of the consequences of their actions on the internet. That picture that they put up of themselves doing whatever silly or stupid thing that they are doing will be accessible forever! That includes the things that they do to or say about others. Our school uses a website called Sprigeo. It is a place where students can report bullying that occurs in any and all settings. Unfortunately, we don’t send enough time teaching the students how to use the program and how to use it appropriately. Many of the students report teachers for calling on them in class when their hand wasn’t up. If we were to teach the students how to use it appropriately, I think it would be a great tool.

    Great post!

    Nicki

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