Web 2.0 integration and New Issues with AUP

Last week, like many of my peeps (my affectionate term for those in my personal learning network), I had the opportunity to provide a workshop or two on web 2.0 tools. I provided a brief presentation on podcasts and on wikis in the classroom. My deepest thanks to those who gave me some awesome resources to highlight during my presentations!

I was very encouraged by the responses of the teachers for whom most of this was quite new. We have the infrastructure and tools in our school to make using podcasts and wikis very easy, so it is my hope they will try to take some small steps at trying them out.

Later in the week, two teachers unexpectedly approached me about using moodle in the classroom. I was thrilled!

The BIG issue our administration is currently facing is how to adapt our current Acceptable Use Policy to reflect the changes that have taken place on the Internet. Just as TIME magazine so clearly showed us a few weeks ago, ANYONE can now upload content onto the web. And with social tagging, it is now even easier to have a truly global audience to whatever is posted.

How do educators and administrators go about setting a policy regarding such services as YouTube, Google Video, Podomatic, and Flickr?

Fortunately, I have heard that the administration at my school does not want to just simply block these services on the campus, but would like our teachers to be able to use them for educational purposes (as I intend to do this term).

Vicki Davis and I had a skype chat about this recently. I had approached her to ask how they had handled this issue for the Flat Classroom Project.

Together we have started a wiki to discuss these issues. If you are an educator, please help us out! We would like to know what your school is doing about its Acceptable Use Policy and if you have any suggestions for us.

I intend to return to my own students and see what they have to think about it. In a conversation I had with Terry Freedman and Drew Buddie the other night, Drew described how he had taken the issue to the students and they drew up a wiki with their suggestions.

What a great way for students to take ownership of the policy!

Do you have any thoughts on this issue?

6 thoughts on “Web 2.0 integration and New Issues with AUP

  1. DIane P says:

    Blocking site issues goes to our district Business Co-ord. and if it is not pornographic (an immediate block) she brings it to the District Tech committee and we discuss it.
    Our conclusion has been if the education benefits outweigh the disadvantages/annoyances/inappropriateness then it should not be blocked.
    We have UTube but not My Spaces.

    I can live with that.

  2. Filters in our system are done at the provincial (state) level. Unfortunately, the policies are developed by tech staff who are generally not well versed on the possible pedagogical benefits of many of the more notorious sites (e.g. my space, etc.). There are currently two major blocks; anonymous email (hotmail, yahoo, etc.) and social / personals sites (MySpace, dating, etc.).
    While I can certainly appreciate the exposure to liability for our DOE, it seems to me that we are doing our students no favours in blocking access. First of all, we immediately say that resources/e-spaces that they obviously value so much are unimportant, even dangerous. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, we hide from our opportunity to use education to teach our youth important skills they need.
    Wouldn’t it be easy to just skip teaching Math because it was “too hard”.

  3. We have a group of High School students creating our new AUP. It would be more up to date then the existing one, and more in tune with what’s available to them. Our existing AUP was a document written in legalese that no student or parent really read or cared about. It was just another list of ‘don’t do this’ and ‘don’t go there.’ A new document created by the students, (approved by the administration, of course) would be more authentic for everyone as well as be more current than the existing one.

  4. Sharon,

    During the spring, we determined that our AUP was not sufficient for the new networked environment. As the Director of Academic Teachnology (oops, I mistyped again. Maybe this is what I want), I know that we needed to make additions based upon new web 2.0 technologies. The IT director at our school would like to lock down and close loopholes.

    When we began to look at it, we began to utilize the model of an ISP, because in essense, that is what we do. At schools, we provide access. The individual is the one responsible for their actions. We began working on this in November, but other projects have taken our attention away from the project. We just met last Thursday and moved it back to the top of the priority list.

    I look forward to participate and collaborate via the wiki. It will help make it stronger and more inclusive. Thank you for starting this thread.

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