Thursday, October 7, 2010

AUP - What is it and what does it mean to you, as a teacher?

On page 9 the authors talk about an AUP as a "stop gap measure(s)". Before we can figure out if that is true we need to have a clear understanding what an AUP is and what it means to the teacher in the classroom.

Since I look at this document from the district level it would be obvious that my point of view is going to be the legal aspect. Ho-hum and who least for right now.

Have you seen the Madison AUP and really read it? I have posted it on a wiki....

I will be inviting some "non" MICE participants to join us. This will include Ruth Catalano, Peggy George, Kim Flack and Priscilla Lundberg. They offer experience and knowledge that I am sure will add to our blog.


Looking forward to a lively discussion...:)


  1. This should be exciting! Thanks for the invite! :)

  2. Acceptable use documents are a pain but needed in our public education system. We (both adult users and student users) all need boundaries and need to have them explained and agreed to. Just my 2 cents. :)priscilla

  3. Thanks for the invitation. You know I love to be involved in things like this. :-) Are you looking to revise your AUP or what kind of contribution would you like? I've been exploring AUPs for the past couple of years because of my interest in seeing how schools/districts are addressing Web 2.0 tools so I'm happy to share anything I can to support your project. For now I gather that you are just wanting to start a conversation related to AUPs and in particular, the blog post about the meaning of AUP to teachers. Is that right?


  4. At a school level the AUP means nothing - a piece of paper signed by parents who do not read it, given to them by admin who have not read it, for students who have never seen it. Teachers depend solely on the DO Tech department to "keep them safe" by blocking everything that may "harm" the child. So acceptable use is taught by a few in a vacuum - I use a wiki and blog with the 8th grade students to try and let them make mistakes so we have something real to discuss.

    Yeah like Peggy, I would love to see how Web 2.0 fits into AUPs


  5. I would have to say that AUPs are good for 70-90% of students/adults who will seek to do what is right; however, there is still a large number that will have to be disciplined for not doing what is expected. There is also the problem of teachers who allow the boundaries of AUPs to be stretched resulting in problems for others. It seems like a piece of paper where good intentions are placed, but problems continue to fester.

  6. The level of knowledge required by teachers is high, when they are expected to identify, interepret, and teach the boundaries. The boundaries have a lot of gray areas. It takes time to recognize the shades of gray. We are not putting staff development time into the elements of digital citizenship, so how can we expect our teaching staff to really understand what's right and what's wrong?
    We all know there isn't time for a separate curriculum of digital citizenship. It's best modeled as a part of existing lessons. Again, I argue that if teachers don't really understand these issues, they can't overtly model them in their lessons.

  7. When it comes to AUP's I wonder how much teachers AND students really know. The article stated that the AUP guidelines are more of an accepted norm rather than enforced rules and because of that, I don't think people really put priority into being educated. It's an issue of ignorance. Are kids cyberbullies because they are intentionally going after other kids or are they under the false impression that as long as they are on the computer, what they say online is okay? When it comes to rampant plagiarism, are kids doing this intentionally or have they not been taught was research really means?
    If you think about it, there is a technology age gap where the students' knowledge and comfort level is far surpassing their instructors and ignorance is born as a result. Teachers are used to reading entire books and summarizing main points for research, kids are used to just typing in their question and writing down the answer. Teachers don't know how to teach students effective and appropriate uses of search engines and other online resources.
    Finally, there is a false sense of security in thinking that behind the computer screen, you are hidden and can do what you want. These all need to be addressed.

  8. I have to say that I have always looked at AUP's from a mixed perspective. The first being legal, that I have parent’s permission to use and be published in electronic and internet publications. But I don't stop with the district documents because I want parents to understand what their child is doing and are expected to do with these formats, publications and cyber tools. I send home a letter that requires a parent signature, my own kind of AUP for signatures. I can't honestly say that I have achieved much more than the district forms, it really means the parent has to read the letter. And I do remember the litany of paperwork that would come with Megan and I do remember her saying, "it's nothing big - just the requirements." Darn kids! ;-) Did I read it… yes, however the parents get the same paperwork every year so who says by the time they hit 7th or 8th grade they are really reading my attempt to share what we are doing and what the expectations are.

    As for teaching boundaries, I integrate it as I can. My first alliance is to the math and then based on the tool or the assignments I integrate appropriate guidelines. It seems like I teach the same ones intermittently throughout the year. Identification, plagiarism, copyright, writing norms, best tool... I will have to track them and see if I am in a (comfort,) rut or if these are just more conducive to the content I teach and the tools I use.

    P.S. I agree with Leah I am not sold that kids really understand that when they paste that picture or cut and paste info from a site they are violating copyright or plagiarizing. I also believe some think their teachers are not smart enough to catch them, although I don’t know that this is any different than when students would copy out of books when I was in school. Yes books had been invented then! ;-)

  9. Loving all I have read...the differing points of view make for interesting reading.
    Feel free to post a "conversation starter" yourself. :)