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EDTECH 541: Acceptable Use Policies

Acceptable Use Policies are used to communicate expectations for student behaviors when they are on a school computer or device. Like most “rules” that are written for students, they involve acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. Whereas in the classroom, we have safety rules that are obvious like “don’t throw things”, where computers are used, the safety rules may not be as obvious. How do you know what is dangerous with communicating on the computer when the point of the communication is not for the student to ultimately meet the other person.

Safety rules may seem like common sense, but they still need to be stated because as teachers, we only want to see the good in people. We work with kids who are full of potential and is our joy to see them learn how to do something. Likewise, they like to impress their peers or adults in their lives by showing what they can do. It is in our protective nature to want to shield the students from ones who could do harm to them, but a firewall can only do so much. Just like they need to learn as children to not run out in the street before looking, they need to be taught how to be aware of potentially dangerous situations.

My professor found some really good links for us to use to research Acceptable Use Policies. I encourage you to check these out if my interpretation of them sparks your curiosity to learn more.


Times must be changing because I swear that four years ago when I started to submerge myself in this online learning world, having to come up with rules on how to behave in social media was not even close to something I thought I’d have to contemplate. Yes, I had a colleague who used Facebook with his students (2009), but since our IT person had told us not to do that, I just figured he was a renegade teacher who could not be held back. Now I know not only how to use Facebook as a teacher, but I know how to use it safely.

The idea of a school having a social media policy should be commonplace now. I do not know if the school where I taught has one now, but I expect they have added onto their computer use contracts something about safety, netiquette, and other behavioral expectations. In 2009 it was acceptable to just tell teachers to avoid certain websites and therefore not connect school liability with online dangers. Now, in 2015, the school can still choose to not have a designated way for teachers, students, and parents to communicate in an academic way, but we should still be responsible and let students know what is possible. This particular website “crowdsourced” acceptable use policies. They essentially created a wiki and invited anybody to add their two cents worth of ideas.

I love what they created. It covers every conceivable situation. Above I mention how do we know what can happen to our kids in a social media situation? Well, fortunately for me, I don’t have to imagine all the horrible things that can happen because someone else has done it for me. Edudemic took the ideas and created acceptable use policies any school can borrow, adapt, or use for their purposes. If I am asked to create an AUP, I know I will be coming to this website to make sure I included everything that should be there.

Education World:

Education World took the National Educational Association’s acceptable use policy and summarized its components. This has two interesting perspectives. First, Education World is a website that currates education websites and hopes to make money from its advertising. They certainly figured out how to use the pop-up window to their advantage. The second thing that catches my attention is that they chose to use the NEA policy. NEA is one of the two major unions that cover teachers. It is only logical that they would have people who could create a document to meet legal obligations.  If I do create my own AUP, I may very well go to NEA or the American Federation of Teachers websites to see what they recommend for the policies.

I wanted to impress you by finding the NEA document, but I am not sure it exists. I have found two places that purportedly quote an NEA AUP document, yet neither one links back to it. Education World does not list it as a citation at the end of its article. This Classroom 2.0 blogger practically quotes the same thing, but does not give a link to where she found her information. The closest I found to an NEA document that gives suggestions on the use of media or technology is their resolutions document from 2013.

Apparently the American Federation of Teachers is now the United Federation of Teachers. I was not able to find a policy statement at their website concerning an acceptable use policy.

BYOD,K12 Blueprint:

Remember the good old days when you’d see a paper note being passed across the room? I actually used to help students pass their notes because it was less disruptive than having them toss it across the room. Then came the time when you’d hear the cell phone ring, and you’d call out asking for it because you were required to confiscate it. That turned into “make sure your ringer is off” as students entered the classroom during first period just so they would not disturb class during class time; you no longer had to confiscate them. Now we are asking students to bring their own devices to class. We’re having them tweet us during a question and answer session. They are texting us the answer to their question of the day. We may even be taking attendance by having students sign into a document we put online. Times, they are a changing…

I’m familiar with BYOD being bring your own drink. Now we have BYOD or BYOT. BYOD is now bring your own device. The “T” in BYOT is for technology. Naturally if we are expecting kids to bring their own equipment to school, we have to have rules that govern how they  use it. Some schools do not require students to bring their own devices. Instead they are able to check out equipment to students so an income disparity does not get in the way of student success. Plus it evens the use field because one device may be able to do stoichiometry for you, while another can’t even bring up the periodic table. Ye gads!

The k12 Blueprint is an amazing site if you want to bring use of digital devices to your school. Intel sponsors the site, which makes sense because their chips are probably in most of the devices that will be brought to campus. The website is thorough, including sections for:

Just about anything you want to know about how to set up a BYOD program at your school can be found at the k12Blueprint website.

If you are just looking for a policy document on BYOD, check out the TeachThought website.

Actual Examples:

Some schools are considerate enough to put their AUP documents online. Here are a few you can look at.



9 Steps For Schools To Create Their Own BYOD Policy. (2013, October 29). Retrieved from

BYOD. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2015, from

Dunn, J. (2012, May 3). It’s Time To Crowdsource Your School’s Social Media Policy. Retrieved January 30, 2015, from

Getting Started on the Internet: Acceptable Use Policies. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2015, from

Lepi, K. (2012, June 11). Crowdsourced School Social Media Policy Now Available. Retrieved January 30, 2015, from

Linking to learning. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2015, from

NEA Resolutions. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2015, from

Owen, C. (2015, January 22). Acceptable Use Policies. Retrieved January 30, 2015, from

EDTECH 531: A Galaxy of Worlds

quest: A galaxy of worlds

We’re not actually asked to blog on this quest, but I will have to make comments in VoiceThread. To collect my thoughts as I go through the quest, I will be blogging here.

Video 1: Disaster Prep training.

I’m sorry to always be so negative, but I’ve been formally trained in disaster prep, I’m CERT certified, and this type of training sucks. Virtual training can NOT replace the hands – on learning I went through or triage or first aid. I agree with the single feedback voice we did get to hear that said maneuvering in that software is difficult. —

The avatars- The female avatars in Ji– whatever we were using a couple days ago were bad enough. The ones here are horrific. Some man is creating these female avatars and he really needs a life body woman to become familiar with so he can get an idea of reality. I want to not only become anorexic after seeing what I’m supposed to look like in a virtual world, but I think I need to get a much better bra. I really wish our avatars did not have to have a gender or look like a specific demographic. I have enough problems in my real life with having to defend my ideas, in part, merely because of what I do or do not look like. Why can’t we teach people that the skin should not matter! What our surface looks like should not be the impression we want to leave with people. Is this why Dr. Dawley’s username is shallow?

(My machine is getting really hot- I don’t know how much I’ll be able to simultaneously.)

Video 2: Economics

I like this video b/c it is being presented as a linear class at first. They are discussing graphs. I do see the potential, but I would have liked to venture around myself instead of watching a video of someone else wandering through. I understand the point of the video is to introduce me to potentials of using that software.

They can select a view option- this is a new concept to me.

That software was openWonderland

Dr. Dawley’s paper:

Figure 3, it is interesting how the teacher does not offer communication to the expert, but students can.

Again, negativity seeps through. The main problem I have with utilizing expert-based interactions is the limit of experts that are out there. I loved it when my students could have a guest speaker to explain things or to work with them, but I know this is not a feasible paradigm for all kids. While I worked my butt of to give my students these unique opportunities, not every teacher will, nor should they have to. Can we create curriculum that is not boring, involves realistic issues, but does not require a teacher by proxy?

My cynicism is starting to bother even me!  Because there are so many people who don’t understand science, yet think they have the right to teach it to students, or there are students who think they are correct when they really are not, having peers or social networks teach science is a really bad idea. I was a virtual science teacher and a virtual science content coach. In both cases I had to fix misconceptions students were currently gathering because either the “teacher” at their f2f school was telling them the wrong thing or one of my colleagues in the help room was misinforming them. While I love the idea of students constructing their own meaning and using peer interaction to do so, for things that can have really bad consequences if students learn it incorrectly, peer collaboration is not the best method. It is like learning computer programming because something feels right. If your code is wrong, it is not going to work. There may not be any iffy place in the middle. Sure you can steal code, but thieving code is not collaboration.

I finally have a definition for machinima – these are videos created in a virtual world.

From what I can gather, using SL for students can involve making virtual posters. So we’re back to poster-making, but this time because it involves technology instead of magic markers, it is now more socially acceptable. It takes me back to when I taught in SF and they had students making posters because the teachers were too lazy to understand how to make a website. I’m still a fan of having kids make interactive websites over making posters on paper or with electrons. Sure Second Life is cool, but how is it more advanced or allowing for more in depth learning? Since when is making a poster inquiry?  There is a great deal more I need to learn about Second Life.

I made the requested entry into our VoiceThread thing. I had to create a new account because VT hates me. I had to pay to reopen my account when I did my portfolio, but stopped paying for it once I passed. My history with VT goes back to 2009 and they have not figured out how to give me a courtesy account because I used to pay for one. So now I’m using a different email address and for the sake of our class, hope it will let me do VT entries.



Reflection for EDTECH 543, Social Networking

Social Networking was an interesting class because it allowed me to learn how people have been making nifty websites quickly.  I did not realize it was by curation, which I learned while doing my final project also applies to businesses who are trying to market themselves to a wide audience. I am not sure I fully understand the business side of curation, but the fun side of being able to use a bot like program to gather information for me is awesome.  Although I don’t see myself using Facebook for discussion groups, it was good to have an authentic experience with Twitter and Facebook so I can have an idea of its strengths and limitations should it be a medium I want to use with students.  Diigo is also good and it was nice to be reminded about the Boise State Edtech Diigo group.

I really enjoyed doing my final project. It has been a while since I’ve built something in Moodle so it was nice to tinker with it again and to organize the units into logical compartments of activities for students to do.  It would be amazing if I did get a teaching job in a virtual classroom that used discussion forums because as wonderful as my current job is, they don’t use discussion forums at all. Given that there are no established student-student interactive opportunities other than a weekly Tech Chat session held for some students of one school, I want to set up something so that we can have some student-student communication even if it is outside of our LMS.  I opened up an account at KidBlog and I plan to fill it with student work when I have some “free” time. I like the idea of KidBlog because my students can remain essentially anonymous. I have often “dreamed” of having students from various states work together in my virtual classroom. It may turn out that with KidBlog I can create the virtual classroom so students can collaborate from their respective homes in whatever time zone they live.

While I feel like there is still so much more for me to learn about social networking, the class did open up for me some opportunities I was not aware of previously. I met someone in a Tweet-chat who is going to be in the EdD program in the fall. As huge as the EdTech world is, it is nice to see that the world can still be a small world at times.

Social Media PLN CoP image

Social Media animated

Hopefully this will get updated one day- Flash crashed 3 times, the third time wiping out my previous 2 hard saves.

In 543 we were to create an image of a Community of Practice or Professional Learning Network so what I tried to show are tweets, IMing, uploading to VoiceThread, Blogger, or SlideShare. I don’t know what Flash killed- much of the animations to illustrate uploading were destroyed in the last crash. One day I will have to fix this, especially if I want it to be a part of my portfolio.