Acceptable Use Policies, or AUP, can be likened to the “Terms of Service” agreements people sign off on when they access online software. The intention of the AUP is provide a framework for specific information security standards. AUP’s should be succinct, yet also cover how users are and aren’t able to use the IT system. With the rapid pace of technological advancements, the trick for many organizations is to find the balance between excessively restrictive policies and those that fall short of their legal obligations.
The purpose of AUPs is two-fold. The first is to protect people in a learning environment from malicious material. The second purpose is to open doors for students to learn and teachers to teach. Keeping AUPs aligned with web 2.0 tools requires constant attention. Some districts update AUPs when the Technology Plan is drafted. Others update yearly, and still others update multiple times in a single year. Some districts use generic language to allow their policies encompass new products.
Tips for Covering the bases with AUPs
- Consistent enforcement among all staff and faculty
- Clearly define if tools will be used as learning tools or personal tools
- Specifically define how certain tools should be used such as a common class Google accounts or material recorded on cameras.
- Compel all parents and teachers to know, teach, and enforce the districts AUPs.
- Compose a copy of computer use rules at age appropriate levels in all computer labs.
- Use computer lab rules that answer “how,” “who” and “when” to adapt to the changing technological landscape.
Here are some examples of AUPs that tackle mobile learning in different ways:
Consortium for School Networking. (Sept. 2011). Acceptable use policies in the web 2.0 and mobile era. Learning, Leadership & Policy A CoSn Leadership Initiative. Retrieved from http://www.cosn.org/Default.aspx?tabid=8139
Scrogan, L. (Jul. 2007) AUPs in a web 2.0 world. EDTECH Focus on K12. Retrieved from http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2007/07/aups-in-a-web-20-world
Nagel, D. (Jan. 2011). A better approach to AUP’s for mobile devices: 5 questions with Anthony luscre. The Journal. Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/articles/2011/01/06/a-better-approach-to-aups-for-mobile-devices-5-questions-with-anthony-luscre.aspx