Sunday, January 21, 2007

Invitation to participate: acceptable use policy wiki

Another great initiative by Sharon Peters and Vicki Davis has come about as a response to the increasing use of social technologies in schools. They have started a Social Networking Acceptable Use wiki to explore the updating of schools acceptable use policies. Much of the fear surrounding the use of social technologies in school comes from the unacceptable and unethical uses of the tools and the results which are then spread far and wide on the internet. Incidents of teachers being recorded in the classroom like this one mentioned by Vicki:
“A Quebec teacher is on stress leave after a video of him shouting at students was posted on youtube. The article says that: "the incident took place a month ago, when one student provoked the teacher into yelling at her while a classmate secretly taped the confrontation." (November 2006)”
show that the existence of new technologies does have implications for teachers in the classroom. As teachers what should be our response?
Some of Vicki’s suggestions include:

  1. Update Acceptable Use Policies in schools
  2. Understand that new school hours are 24/7.
  3. Understand the importance of technology education including ethics
  4. Understand that blocking doesn't protect your school from this issue
  5. Understand that information does not travel in straight lines.
Vicki has decided to record all her classes as podcasts and put them on itunes, both as a way for students to have access them to deepen their learning but also as a way of "getting in front of the issue". Hers is truly an open classroom, and the transparency and reflectiveness that this shows has got to be good for the students as well. I really like the focus on teaching the students about the ethics of the these new tools.

On her blog about this issue Sharon Peters says:

“Together we have started a wiki to discuss these issues. If you are an educator, please help us out! We would like to know what your school is doing about its Acceptable Use Policy and if you have any suggestions for us.”
I hope that lots of educators get involved in this.

1 comment:

  1. Jo,
    Thanks for posting this. My original impetus to blog came my search back in April 2004 for online materials to help teachers blog with their students came up with almost nothing. Back then, I did find Bud Hunt's wiki of resources. Nice to this pair of wiki-vangelists doing this.