Well said Heather.
I made the mistake a few years ago and combined the legal language from many of our forms (photo release, AUP, etc ) into one form that was sent home in the first day of school packets.
too much legal language
Some parents sign without reading= no education and awareness
Some overanalyze and try to dissect the legal language = fear and confusion
And honestly the teachers still had connection to the process so no change in teaching practice
A friendly letter from your teacher in parent and student friendly language home
Saying. Here is what we are going to do in our learning community this year and the tools we are going to use...will you give permission for your child to participate in ........
Include the essence of the legal policy in much more accessible language - like Heather said.
in most cases usually 100 % signed Yes with permission to publish student work and pictures to school related website (read Glogster Voicethread) for school related project following the schools safety guidelines.
=parent read the letter and perk interest in class website and start to understand the WHY of what they are signing
=teachers have better understand of the who has signed the permission and why and feel like they can take bigger steps in using technology in innovative ways
I oversimplified a bit - but just wanted to ECHO Heathers comment that user friendly documents that support the policy is much more effective.
Sent from my iPad
In our experience, the AUPs that sound like they were written by
lawyers are not understood, nor will they be used as actual guidance
Consider asking kids to dissect your school's AUP and question why
each line is there. Then rewrite it. If your students can't
understand even a single line, consider that your policy is probably
broken because nobody can follow a policy they don't understand.
The AUPs we use in schools are not "policy", rather they are "usage
guidelines". It's our understanding that policy must go through
board approval. There may be legal ramifications too. We don't
meddle here, nor do we expect kids to understand documents outside
their current reading level. Kids in elementary school need a
one-pager, in plain English that becomes part of the regular
conversation. Formalized policy documents tend to live in binders
and satisfy checklist items. Conversation leads to a cultural shift
that is necessary to trigger peer-enforced, safe behavior.
That's our experience.
All the best,
Digital Wish, Executive Director
PO Box 1072, Manchester Center, VT 05255
P: 802-549-4571, F: 845-402-7242, C: 802-379-3000
...25,982 Classroom technology wishes
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