Tag Archives: Acceptable Use Policy

This year, our Acceptable Use Policy was renamed our Respectable Use Policy

(presentation designed by Don Buckley)

This year we are saying RIP to our AUP to make room for our RUP. 

Back in 2006 when I started at The School at Columbia University (it was entering its 4th year!), the Technology Department strove to create a simple and clear Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) that was 10 items long. We review this AUP with each grade at the beginning of every school year, The kids invent a million what if? scenarios, and it’s equally hilarious and exhausting to counter them all. After we review the policy point by point for 20-30 minutes, students have to sign the AUP and take it home to get a parent/guardian’s signature as well. Only after they return the signed form to me are they allowed to use the machines we provide for them. We’re a 1:1 school: Child in grades K-2 are assigned an iPad and children in grades 3-8 are assigned a laptop – with overlap as needed for projects.

This year, Don Buckley (@donbuckley) decided to rename our AUP, so we are now calling it our Respectable Use Policy (RUP). It’s not just semantics, shemantics. We want our community to fully appreciate, internalize, support, and ultimately respect our policy and not just accept it. This is an example of how we use/reinforce a consistent vocabulary for our student body. (In my case, I reinforce this vocabulary in a very shrill and repetitive way.)

For the record, we do not filter. We use Columbia University’s network, and they do not filter. This means that we ask/expect/hope/pray members of our community will make good choices. Our RUP is below:

The School’s Respectable Use Policy

The School’s students will use its technology facilities in the spirit of The School’s code of conduct and in a responsible and legal manner, following the rules listed below:

Respect

  • I will always use the computer with consideration and respect for others and myself.
  • I will not eat food or drink beverages while working on the computers.
  • I will be responsible for my computer’s whereabouts at all times. If I am not using my computer, I will return it to a charging station

Email and Communication

  • I will use electronic mail only for school-related purposes. I will never use abusive or profane language in public or private messages.
  • I will not access my personal e-mail account, social networking sites, or personal instant messaging software from any school computer.
  • I will not use others’ names or passwords.

Safety

  • I will ask a teacher for permission before I download or install anything from the Internet.
  • I will keep my network and electronic mail account passwords private.

Software/Apps

  • I will use teacher-approved software and apps when given permission at appropriate times.
  • I will not illegally copy or download software or media (games, MP3s, etc.).

Internet

  • I will not shop online or make any purchases using a school computer.
  • I will not visit inappropriate websites. Teachers and administrators will determine appropriateness.

I understand that failure to follow these rules when using The School’s technology, whether at The School or off-campus, will result in suspension of my technology privileges and/or additional disciplinary action.

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Doing spot checks on student laptops. No surprises, thank goodness.

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At The School at Columbia University, we have a 1:1 laptop program, and we don’t filter. So kids are feasibly free to access any online site they want. However, we have the students and parents sign an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) at the beginning of the year, we reinforce using technology academically/respectfully/responsibly, I always walk around the room looking at screens and asking kids what they are doing, and we don’t allow students to use the computers when unsupervised.

Of course, we deal with infractions, but frankly these occasions are probably just as frequent/infrequent as at a school with filters in place.

Today, I am scanning all of the 8th grade laptops while they are away on a trip. I’m just quickly looking at the web histories on the various browsers we installed on each machine (Safari, Firefox, Chrome) and poking in their desktop folders. Yes, kids can erase their histories, but a blank history or glaring holes in a history is a red flag that more digging needs to be done, in which case we may run a program like FileJuicer or something similar.

So far, out of the about 30 machines, I’ve come across 3 kids that are clearly using their school laptop to access Facebook, gaming sites, and/or YouTube. I plan on talking to each child personally when they return to school. In the meantime, I chose the low-tech approach of posting a physical sticky note on their screen.

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You down with #AUP (Yeah you know me)

Two weeks into the shool, and I’m still missing one signed Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) from the middle school population. Maybe I should be more “glass is half full” about it and acknowledge I’m only missing one signed AUP. The kids are not allowed to use their school MacBook without turning in that form. I use the non-AUP kids to control the classroom iMac and Smartboard when I lead a lesson for their class. I always ask for volunteers (or guinea pigs as I like to call them) to demo for their classmates, anyway, which leaves me free to walk around as needed asking questions and checking that the other students are on task.

I pasted the AUP we use for grades 5-8 here at The School below:

The School’s Acceptable Use Policy
The School’s students will use its technology facilities in the spirit of The School’s code of conduct and in a responsible and legal manner, following the rules listed below:

Respect
• I will always use the computer with consideration and respect for others and myself.
• I will not eat food or drink beverages while working on the computers.
• I will be responsible for my computer’s whereabouts at all times. If I am not using my computer I will return it to a charging station

E-mail and Communication
• I will use electronic mail only for school-related purposes. I will never use abusive or profane language in public or private messages.
• I will not access my personal e-mail account, social networking sites, or personal instant messaging software from any school computer.
• I will not use others’ names or passwords.

Safety
• I will ask a teacher for permission before I download or install anything from the Internet.
• I will keep my network and electronic mail account passwords private.

Software
• I will use teacher-approved software when given permission at appropriate times.
• I will not illegally copy or download software or media (games, MP3s, etc.)

Internet
• I will not shop online or make any purchases using a school computer.
• I will not visit inappropriate websites. Teachers and administrators will determine appropriateness.

I understand that failure to follow these rules when using The School’s technology, whether at The School or off-campus, will result in suspension of my technology privileges and/or additional disciplinary action.

________________________________Student Name (Print)
________________________________Student Signature
________________________________Guardian Signature
________________________________Grade
________________________________Advisor Name
________________________________Date

 

Conveniently, I just saw this tweet from @ShellTerrell linking to a great post about Digital Citizenship:

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