Creating a Student Acceptable Use Policy

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The purpose of an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is to communicate in clear language how a district’s computer and network resources are to be used so that the environment is safe, secure and reliable.

It is recommended to have both a staff and student Acceptable Use Policy as there should be differences in the rules and sanctions for violation of rules.

Some of the specific considerations that could be addressed in a student Acceptable Use Policy are as follows.

  • Playing game is strictly prohibited unless part of an approved activity and sanctioned by a teacher.
  • Plagiarism, defined to include using sources from the web without proper acknowledgment in footnotes or a bibliography, is prohibited.
  • Streaming music or movies is prohibited unless part of an approved activity and sanctioned by a teacher.

Addressing the critical issue of aligning student behaviors in the ‘virtual’ world with ‘real’ world consequences is imperative. It is therefore recommended to have a general, yet clear, summary of what is considered ‘reasonable’ for various types of violations. An AUP should also warn the students that law enforcement agencies would be contacted if they are found to be engaged in illegal activities while using the district’s equipment or network.

Do you have any other ideas on what you could add to a student AUP?

From Professional Learning Board’s online continuing education course for teachers: Technology for Education Leaders

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