Writing a Responsible Use Policy was a surprisingly enjoyable experience. I thought it would be quite boring-and wondered why I should bother when there are so many good ones already out there-but it was an interesting exercise in reflection, language and collaboration.
Ju, Julie and I worked together using a series of Google Docs in a shared folder. First we shared our schools’ AUPs, model AUPS and other resources related to the development of AUPs. Then, within an AUP Project Notes page set up by Julie, the discussion began. We listed what we liked, brainstormed agreements and had an asynchronous conversation through questions and comments within the Google Doc. This past week, we realized we needed to have some live chatting to work out some of the finer details and make sure we were on the same page. While we wanted to talk through a Google Hangout, we ended up settling for chatting within the document. This worked wonderfully, because we are able to see the document shifting and changing as all three of us edited while discussing it. This was an excellent lesson in collaboration, and it is an opportunity I hope I will be able to structure for my students in the future. Julie and Ju were great to work with, and I would be lucky to collaborate with either of them in the future.
The IB Learner Profile – Julie shared Sheldon Bradshaw’s Framing Your Acceptable Use Policy Through the Learner Profile presentation with us, and we all agreed that this seemed the obvious way to structure our project. Focusing on the learner profile attributes gave us a shared language and allowed us to create a policy that could easily work for any IB school.
K-12 Scope – All three of us work in different IB programs (Ju-PYP, Julie- MYP, Katy -MYP & DP) so we decided we’d like to have one set of guiding statements to apply to the whole school. Then, as responsible use looks different at different ages, we decided to break it down into program-specific agreements for each guiding statement.
I Will Statements – Come from the perspective of writing a Responsible Use Policy and not an Acceptable Use Policy, we agreed that writing the statements with “I will” was the only way to go. It ensured that the language is student centered and positive. There are tons of behaviors you can ban in schools, but I’ve always found that coming from what you want to see instead of what you don’t want to see offers better results.
Brevity – While maybe it doesn’t feel brief coming in at 5 pages, we found that we really had to prioritize to keep it to a maximum of three guiding statements for each agreement. In the end, this forced us to focus our RUP and kept it from becoming a laundry list of all possible actions related to technology.
Visual – We agreed that there needed to be a visual component. Keeping in mind that AUPs are often shared at the beginning of the year with students (and often not read!) we decided to design accompanying presentations that supports the AUPs for each level. The DP presentation I designed is currently made up of Creative Commons licensed images; however, as Julie mentioned, if our school were to adopt this RUP, I would like to see the students create these presentations with photos taken by them.
What started off as an exercise for class became an authentic product I am looking forward to sharing with my LIS colleagues. I am very happy with our final result, shared below. We have a K-12 set of guiding statements, supported by a set of agreements each for the PYP, MYP and DP. For better formatting, you can view our RUP and RUP in the DP presentation in Google Drive. To view the PYP presentation, please visit Ju’s post. To view the MYP presentation, please visit Julie’s post.
Responsible Use Policy
Responsible Use in the Diploma Program
I would love feedback! What do you like about this policy? What would you change? Did we miss anything essential?