Acceptable Use Policy

Diocese of Joliet Catholic Schools

The Diocese of Joliet is in the process of revising their AUP.  For this activity I will be using the original AUP.  The last revision was March, 2010, so it isn’t quite out of date.  This policy allows students to use technology in the schools in order to facilitate learning and teaching through communication, access to information, research, and collaboration.


The National Education Association (NEA) recommends six elements of an Acceptable Use Policy.  They are the preamble, definition section, policy statement, acceptable uses section, unacceptable uses section, and a violations/sanctions section.  I will use these elements to analyze the AUP of the Diocese of Joliet.


Preamble

The AUP should state:

1.  reasons for the policy

2.  goals of the policy

3.  the process developing the policy

4.  students’ online activity is related to the code of conduct.


This AUP states:

1.  students use technology in a responsible, moral, and ethical manner

2.  the policy’s goals are to facilitate learning and teaching through communication, access to information, research and collaboration.

3.  nothing about the process of developing the policy

4.  students are expected to act in a responsible, ethical, and moral manner using the rules of network etiquette and following federal and state law.


Definition Section

The AUP should define any words to ensure student and parent understanding.  This AUP defines computer workstations, notebooks/tablets, lab networks, school-wide networks, school owned devices, Internet, and Web 2.0 tools as “Technology Resources”.  It also defines “Privately Owned Devices” as cell phones, mp3 players, iPods, handheld devices, laptops, desktop computers, and notebooks/tablets, but doesn’t limit to just those devices.  


Policy Statement

The AUP should tell what computer services are covered and when they can use the services.  This AUP uses the term “Technology Resources” to ensure what services are covered.  It also states that they must agree to and accept the terms and conditions before the students are granted use of the Technology Resources.


Acceptable Uses Section

An AUP should define how students are allowed to use the resources available in the school.  In this case, the AUP supports the use of technology as a means to facilitate learning and teaching in a responsible, moral and ethical manner.  It defines these means as communication, access to information, research, and collaboration.


Unacceptable Uses Section

This policy states several unacceptable uses:

  1. inappropriate, obscene, or pornographic pictures cannot be downloaded, displayed, etc.

  2. no school related picture, video, etc of school employees, volunteers or school/related activities can be uploaded to social networks w/o principal’s consent.

  3. no offensive, threatening or harassing remarks/comments are tolerated in any sites or hand-held devices.

  4. cyberbullying is not tolerated.

  5. no derogatory or defamatory material is tolerated.

  6. no student can upload copyrighted material w/o consent of teacher.

  7. no derogatory or defamatory written documents can be uploaded, printed or shared.

  8. no deleting/altering files or spreading viruses/worms.

  9. cannot use the school network to purchase personal items.

  10. no users can be involved in chat rooms, blogs, discussion groups without consent from teacher/administrator.

  11. no student can send or post defamatory comments about other students, staff, etc of school.

  12. no student can install software without permission from teacher/administrator.

  13. no student can use or disclose other students passwords.

Violations/Sanctions

The AUP should state how violations are handled.  This AUP states that violators will be responsible for damages and will also be reported to the appropriate authority if laws are broken.  It also states that the parent agrees to pay for damages if the AUP is breached.  


In conclusion, the AUP from the Diocese of Joliet does contain many of the necessary elements from the NEA.  The process of developing the policy needs to be stated and a more defined Acceptable Use section should be evident.


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