A Field-trip of AUPs

The following activity was designed for a graduate-level superintendent certification class. 

The very nature of technology today is exceedingly fluid.

First, discuss the nuances between Google tools (blogger, Sites, Docs, YouTube  etc.), social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and Web 2.0 applications (Glogster, Animoto, Toondoo). How are they similar? How are they different?

Next, consider how the use of these digital age learning tools relate to the following legal considerations:
  • Intellectual property
  • Pupil records (assessment records)
  • Copyright
  • Disclosure of disability
  • Security of the information collected
  • Retention/deletion of the records/information
  • Publishing of the information to a wider audience
  • Right to privacy
  • Endorsement (vs. disagreement or no expressed opinion) 
Policies by their very nature are static and unable to fully set prescriptive procedures that fully protect the school district and meet the terms of the law. That being said, below are AUPs that have been recognized as examples of national best practice.

Select one of the following AUPs.

Rate the degree to which your policy addresses the specific differences between the types of digital-age learning tools (above)?

Does your AUP address the legal considerations (above)? To what extent do they balance the educational need to leverage technology for powerful learning experiences with the legal need to comply with law and protect the teacher/school from liability?

Be prepared to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your given AUP.

Forsyth County Schools, their video here.

Bellingham Public Schools

Barrington Public Schools

Duxbury School District 

Littleton Public Schools: Student Use, Staff Use, Copyright/Fair Use

Burlington Public Schools

Science Leadership Academy 


CoSN's Acceptable Use Policies

WASB's Updating Student Internet Acceptable Use Policies

Los Angeles Unified School District: Social Media for Employees

WASB's Staff and Student Instructional Use of Social Media

Mike Julka at SLATE in 2010

Legal Issues Relating to Technology in Our Schools from WASDA on Vimeo.

Mike Julka's NOTES

BYOD Resources:

BYOD and Security

Moving Forward with BYOD

BYOD Questions to Consider

Sample Policy and Considerations

Wisconsin Records Retention Laws

Wisconsin Records Retention Schedule for School Districts

Credit: Wisconsin Association of School  Boards, Association of Wisconsin School Administrators, Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators, CoSN


  1. Rating for types of technology addressed:
    Google Tools, Social Media & Web 2.0 -
    * Doesn't explicitly mention creation of content (it does address copyright, plagarism, appropriate sharing, etc.) - examples below
    * "Do not post or send any message/picture/sound/video that is obscene, rude, harassing or insulting to anyoned"
    * "Do not forward or send any content not directly associated with your learning (e.g. advertisements, games, pictures)"
    * "Peer to peer file sharing is strictly prohibited and monitored by the School District of Philadelphia - these software programs can be detected by the District and they will shut off your access to the SDP Network"

    Intellectual property - Addresses Directly
    Pupil records (assessment records) - Does not address (perhaps indirectly, but nothing about records of any type)
    Copyright - Addresses Directly
    Disclosure of disability - Indirectly
    Security of the information collected - Directly
    Retention/deletion of the records/information - Not at all
    Publishing of the information to a wider audience - Directly
    Right to privacy - Not at all (doesn't even have opt out clause)
    Endorsement (vs. disagreement or no expressed opinion) - Not at all

    Favorite Quote/Idea - Headings are in student language and terms such as:
    *"No Fooling Around"
    *"No Hogging,"
    *"No Stealing"

  2. Littleton Internet policy student
    The Internet is a fluid environment in which information available to students is constantly changing, and the District does not endorse any content or make any guarantee as to the accuracy of information or the appropriateness of any material accessible to students. It's statement is a direct quote out of the student policy. What I like about it is that it clearly articulates the constantly changing environment and that its students responsibility to validate the information.
    The policy overall is well written including an opt out paragraph for the students if parent request of Internet material s In our review we didn't find anything on retention or deletion of student records

  3. In looking at the Duxbury Acceptable Use Policy, I feel it does a nice job of covering Web 2.0 tools and keeping it broad enough to cover many different compenents of Web 2.0 tools. There is no specific language speaking to social media or google. As far as legal considerations, some of those pieces were missed. Missed pieces include endorsements, property ownership, and deletion of materials from WEb 2.0 tools. A favorite line outlined the importance of the use of technology in public schools. "Duxbury Public School (DPS) provides access to electronic
    resources that promote educational excellence, sharing of information, innovative
    instruction, and online communication to enhance Millennial Learners’ ability to live and
    work in the 21st century."

  4. Update on Tools from Tool Rating, above
    Email/Chatting Etiquette

    Communicating online is is very much like communicating with people in person. You must be respectful of others at all times. Remember that all email & M.O.O.D.L.E. messages can be read by the SLA Technology Team and the administration. Donʼt write anything you would not want to share with teachers and parents.

    While many members of SLA, including staff members, use instant messaging and blogging software to communicate, part of the learning experience at SLA is to responsibly use these types of communication methods as part of your school day. Students need to be aware that chatting during class time when off topic is a distraction. Students asked to refrain from using or quit using chatting during class time must do so immediately.