I've been searching for and struggling with K12 school web publishing policies that grapple with the issues particular to Web 2.0 and student publication. I have found very little that has been helpful.

I think that it is important to lay out policies in clear terms beyond those found in typical AUPs and web publishing policies. Fine points such as moderation, access to content, acceptable content, and publication policies spanning a variety of media need be addressed. These media range from blogs, discussion forums, wikis, social bookmarking, social networking and more. Each has a unique set of issues.

I've been drafting a policy that is specific to my school that is incomplete largely because I could use some help and feedback.

I've decide to post a draft on a WordPress blog using CommentPress which allows you comment on any paragraph of the draft as you would comment on a blog post. I have just begun experimenting with CP as a collaboration tool. I find this tool interesting and I think some of you may too.

I invite you to view this draft and make comments--here or on the CommentPress site.

Tags: 2.0, aup, blog, policy, safety, web

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Steve, Comment Press is cool. It is obvious that you have worked hard and given a lot of thought to this document. Is there a way that you can make the document less threatening? (I left an example on Paragraph 18). Also I think 10 could be in 9. It'll be interesting to see the document when it is finished.
I was combining 9 and 10 using the beta version of CommentPress which led to me being locked out of my server and sites for a few hours! I'll do that now that all is back to normal.

I rephrased paragraph 18 somewhat--check the comments for my alternative.

I have every intention of sharing the doc when done--perhaps a more generic form.

Thanks for checking in.
I really like the document - I don't agree with all of it (not a fan of moderation - we don't moderate classroom comments, why should we moderate web comments?), but I really like both the idea and the content. I have asked our technology coordinator to have a look at it as I think it is something our district needs to think about (soon!).
I'm not a fan of moderation either (my biological children have unmoderated webspaces), but these are the realities of our school, community, and school board. We can start here and push beyond. I could present the debate from the other side and I understand their points, but we all know the drill.

I have no problem setting up another draft for other schools that allow unmoderated content.

I still need to write some more paragraphs, but I thought I'd get it out.

Thanks for checking it out. Feel free to comment.
I understand district policies - well, I understand why they have them, but I don't always understand some of the rationale. My tech coordinator was quite impressed with your draft. We both agree it is something our district needs to adopt very soon. Many of our teachers are beginning to use blogs in their classes and policy would be a good thing to have. I think if we had a good policy in place that the powers that be will be more open to the fact that blogs/wikis/etc are being used.
I would love to see his feedback. It is rather rough and incomplete. I still need to flesh out Social Bookmarking and Social Networking tools.

I also want to include policies regarding use of third party websites and solutions as well.

I really think all districts need to spell out these policies clearly, but sadly, I have found very little in my searches.
I agree and am in the midst of trying to develop our own policy. Thanks for getting it started. This will really help. I'm thinking of pulling together several of our teachers who are active on Facebook, etc. to help us develop our social networking guidance. I know you can't teach common sense, but I think we're going to try.
"....I know you can't teach common sense, but I think we're going to try.".....

especially to any one 12-20!!!
One thing to think about is to what level of detail these policies need to or should be spelled out at the district level.

For example, at one district I work with, the policies are different at different grade levels, being more protective at elementary and very open by high school. This also relates to instruction that is done with students on responsible use issues over time. (I think this is *so* important that it should be required of teachers and included in the policy. This is also an issue to talk with parents and the community about. See Kevin's great analogy to driving here.)

Also, doesn't some of this vary by teacher? There are some teachers who do a very good job of mentoring students and teaching them about responsible use. For those, I would like to be more flexible. There are others that I would never want to take down this road.

One thing I worry about with a potentially overly restrictive policy is that it ties the hands of pioneer teachers (as has been done with many other policies over time) in order to build in safeguards for those who are less innovative and even responsible. What often happens then is that we make exceptions for some teachers and pretty soon, no one take the policy seriously.

There is also the issue of change over time. This stuff is all evolving quickly. Most AUPs take a long time to get through legal and board review. The more restrictive they are, the harder it is to keep up with the changes in technology, society, etc.
I was thinking much the same thing as I skimmed over the policy draft. As a teacher, I would have given up and said, forget it...if it's this much trouble and if I have to remember ALL these things, then I'm not using 2.0 tools.
I do understand the need for some teacher guidance. We are also in the midst of a discussion about policies that I hope will lead to something short- 4 or 5 points for teacher sto remember, not the approval process we seem to be butting our heads against every time we have this discussion in my school.
I also have a personal problem with feeling as though many good-intentioned policies feel restrictive. If I find a good tool to use, can I not use my professional judgment to decide whether to use it and to teach the kids how to use it properly?
Maybe that's the real issue- teaching kids proper use of the tools and how to participate in online environments?
I'm definitely staying tuned to this discussion-
Many of these policies are reassurances to skeptical board members as to how such tools will be used and set standards of conduct for students. In essence some of this states that behavior rules that apply to the school also apply to online behavior.

I don't regard these rules as onerous, so much as specific. If one has to remember all the things in our faculty handbook, one probably wouldn't bother teaching either.

Leaving major policy decisions with potentially serious legal implications to individual teachers might put the school at risk and even more so the teacher.
I agree that I want guidance to feel more inviting than restrictive, but what about the folks who don't have professional judgement? I've met them and their administrators are tearing out their hair becasue without some formal guidelines, they're not sure what to do . . . they don't know enough. I think Steve's analogy to the staff handbook is a good one. And, also . . . shorter will definitly be better than longer. I'm hoping we can draft something in our district that provides broad guidance and isn't necessarily tool-specific. If it's too tool-specific, then we'll be revising our AUP and guidelines every month! For instance, one broad catagory I imagine is "on-line tools that require students to create an account with a personal email."



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