Acceptable Use Policy

May 25, 2005.  That is the date of the current acceptable use policy in my school district.  It’s 10 years old!  As I read through it I like that fact that it give clear definitions of terms immediately.  After that it seems to become a legal mumbo jumbo for district CYA.  The funny thing is, I think most users are violating bits of the policy on a daily basis!  The document needs an undated time and specific examples.

“Students will not be advised or encouraged by school staff to obtain free e-mail accounts through commercial providers (e.g., Hotmail, etc.) for use in class projects.”  Hotmail? Really?  But, let us now update.  Does this mean the English teacher that was encouraging students to use Google (everything) to store their materials in the cloud?  This same district does not provide student personal accounts show they can essentially not store anything.  Perhaps they should use a USB/flash/jump drive? “…Prohibited: attaching rogue devices or applications to district resources…”   I think a revision, with current technology in mind, is needed.

“…Prohibited: …use of resources for non-work or school related work… ” “Network users shall not reveal personal addresses, telephone numbers, or any personal identification information about themselves or others.” So if I shoot my wife an I love you email I am in policy violation because it’s non-work related?  If I answer a coworkers email and send them my cell phone number, am I breaking policy?

Yes I think our AUP is designed to protect students from themselves, each other and the outside world.  But it is ancient in terms of computer years.  The bottom line is that document needs updated with today’s technology and today’s more advanced students in mind.


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