This week we reviewed Acceptable Use Policies (AUP) for technology usage in the classroom. We then went on to create our own AUPs in small groups. Each group’s AUP was tailored to their general area of teaching.
Our first assignment was to create a Wordle based on our school and/or district’s current AUP, as well as any we found useful from other sources. I found a lot of AUPs that were meant for K-12, but they tended to span such a broad spectrum, that I did not feel they were effective for my students. I finally was able to find a few that were created specifically for K-2 students and took the bits and pieces I liked from each to create my Wordle. I found that, as usual, my Wordle was much different than my peers. One of my classmates even commented that it was “almost innocent.” When creating the AUP with my group, we added the six necessary components, yet I do not feel that it would be the most effective way to get my students to use the computer and Internet correctly. We did the work as assigned, but I feel that sometimes less is more. A simpler straightforward AUP may have been more effective for students.
In my school we are required to post daily objectives, language objectives, and standards for each subject. These postings mean absolutely nothing if they are not understood by the students. For this reason, all objectives and standards are written in “kid language.” For instance, my students just finished writing about spiders. The writing standard for this lesson is “W.K.2. Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.” This means nothing to my five-year-old students who cannot understand it. Instead our objective was, “I will write facts about spiders and draw pictures to match my words.” My students were able to complete this task successfully and even tell the principal exactly what the objective of the lesson was. Writing the objective in “kid language” was much more effective than simply stating the standard. I think that the AUP we created would be great for the parents, as I feel that it seems much more official, but for the students, I think we need a separate one.
The students need to sign an AUP that is written in “kid language.” The majority of the K-2 AUPs I found were written in “kid language” and were either “I will…” or “I promise…” and “I will not…” or “I promise not to…” I feel that these were written so that the students could understand them and internalize their actions accordingly. Maybe next time, we will write them specifically for the students.