An Acceptable Use Policy, or AUP, is a document that provides clear guidelines for the use of school technology equipment and services. The goal of an AUP is help protect students and educators from harm and to keep assignments that involve technology centered around learning. According to the National Education Association, a successful AUP should contain the following elements:
- Preamble- The preamble section of the AUP includes an explanation for why the policy is needed and what benefits will be received by educators and students for following the policy (Education World).
- A definition section- The definition section introduces a glossary of words used in the policy and provides a simple definition (Education World).
- A policy statement- The policy statement sets expectations as to what services and equipment falls under the AUP and what exceptions (if any) are made (Education World).
- An acceptable uses section- The acceptable uses section provides students with real-world examples of how they might incorporate school technology into their projects. Clear language is used to provide examples of appropriate products, websites and uses (Education World).
- An unacceptable uses section- The unacceptable uses section provides students with real-world examples of uses that are not allowed on school technology (Education World).
- A violations/sanctions section- This section provides a list of repercussions for violating the AUP (Education World).
Some schools adopt an AUP that involves blocking websites deemed inappropriate for student access, while others believe that students need to learn how to become responsible web users (CoSA, 2001).
Here are few examples of the Acceptable Use Policies that are similar to the University that I attend: