Let’s write a positive AUP

This school year we have been working on revising our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) as it hasn’t had a serious update in several years. As I’ve been reading through the policy, I realized just how negative the policy sounds – and it’s quite depressing. Fortunately students don’t actually read the policy, otherwise none of them would ever take the laptop that we issue to them. So, I decided that we needed to have a 1 page version of the policy, but it MUST have a positive message.

I found this graphic to be very similar to what I wanted, but I disagree with several of the items in the list. Not because they are “wrong answers,” but we cause many of those items are taught in some classes and I didn’t want to convey the wrong message.


Enter a caption

To see the original image, you can find it here from Bill’s Flickr page.

So I created a shared Google Doc with my staff asking for input for what we wanted our students to do, and not do with technology. We got quite a few items that I hadn’t thought of, and several duplicates. I boiled down the list and came up with 15 items for what we wanted them to do, and 9 that we didn’t want them to do. I sent a Google Survey out to my PLN, and to my staff. I also decided to send a copy of the survey to our student body, to see what students felt was important.

It was interesting because a couple items that staff had were not in the student top 8, and a couple from students were not in the staff top 8 items.

Here is what we came up with:

How should you use your technology?

I will:

  • Think critically
  • Make informed decisions
  • Make a difference
  • Find answers to their questions
  • Express their creativity
  • Explore possibilities
  • Become more organized
  • Act as respectful, responsible global citizens

I won’t:

  • Use technology illegally
  • Plagiarize
  • Lose focus from being productive
  • Inflict harm of any kind on anyone
  • Bully others
Note: This is a student friendly version of technology use examples. Students are still required to read and agree to the Acceptable Use of Technology policy that is on all student laptops, and print copies available upon request from the Technology Department.


We’re still working on a graphical version of this list that we can use as a poster, hand-out, or display on our digital signage system. Feel free to use the list as-is, or as a starting point for your own list!


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