Writing a Responsible Use Policy – Major Project 3 of 4
Good Evening fellow Tech. Leaders!
While I am plowing my way through this final project, I have come to the point where I am developing my very own “Responsible Use Policy”. Now, you may recall we have discussed the difference between an “Acceptable Use Policy” (AUP) and a “Responsible Use Policy” (RUP) in an earlier blog post from Unit 5. I shared the image from the Government of Saskatchewan document “Digital Citizenship in Saskatchewan Schools”. The main difference between the two documents is that one states everything you can NOT do, while the other outlines what you CAN do. I am sure you can see how the second is much more beneficial to our students, particularly when we think about developing students who feel empowered and trusted to make positive choices when they are using technology or working online.
While I was researching this topic, I decided to check out a variety of examples of both AUP and RUP. Some divisions who claim to have RUP have actually developed AUP’s in disguise. The document is quite limiting and outlines the consequences should students break the rules. Please do not get me wrong, I am a firm believer of consequences, but when we are striving to develop digital leaders, we cannot shut them down for making a mistake. Rather, we need to use the mistake as an opportunity to educate and redirect students toward more positive choices.
I came across one fantastic example of a RUP when searching through the vast number that came across my online search. Renton School District created a RUP that is student centered, written in language that is easily understood, and focuses on student learning opportunities. I found this to be aligned with the recommendations of a beneficial RUP as outlined in the “Digital Citizenship in Saskatchewan Schools” document.
I have to note, that it is recommended that an RUP be written with students to ensure they have input into what is expected of them. I came across this image while reading the book Social LEADia by Jennifer Casa-Todd.
Students will complete this graphic organizer differently depending on the age at which you are using it with. Students may interpret “Respect Others” very differently. For example, students in grade 3 may look at it to mean asking permission before posting pictures of their peers, where as students in high school may interpret it to mean not sharing or posting discriminatory images or jokes. This document allows for students and teachers to have a conversation about what it means to responsibly use technology, social media, or internet-based tools.
For the purpose of this Final Project, I have written an example of a RUP with the guidance and recommendations from my own class of grade 5 students. I discussed with them what it would mean to be a responsible user and consumer of the technology we use at school. I am quite thrilled with what I came up with and I cannot wait to share it with you once it is completely finished!
If you were to create a RUP with your students, what would be one thing you would want to ensure was included?
How would you frame this conversation with your students to ensure you get open and honest responses?
I love getting your feedback and look forward to hearing from you!