Hello all:


Been following the conversation on AUP’s with interest of course.  I agree with points made about guideline usage and developing simple to read/understand documents around this.    I also have a personal struggle at times at the state level because we do tend to complicate matters when multiple agencies weigh in.  The input we provided, and “we” in this case, was a thoughtful group of education technology folks, was included in that AUP document, but did get a little overwhelmed by the legal aspects.  I have come to understand sometimes how this works…we provide some input, and we hope that it influences outcomes.  I am continuing to work with the fine folks at the Vermont School Boards Assoc. and we’ll have more conversations about this work.   


I have an upcoming meeting with the Vermont School Boards Assoc. next week and would like to bring some of your comments about the released AUP to their attention.    I also am walking a thin line here in wanting to continue working with the documents they post up for their audience and provide some “one pagers” or “guideline” documentation that schools can use to sift out the legalese in the policy language.  It is important that I not confuse school leadership by providing conflicting information. 


Suffice to say it is very useful for me to hear specifics from the document.  There was some discussion last week about substituting the word “supervision” for “monitors” as it moves the onus to the teacher responsibility for supervising students as opposed to monitoring which might lead to a punitive outcome.  The comments that Heather, Lucie, and others have made are also very apropos to this work.  I continue to look for your comments or specifics in relation to this and would have an interest in convening again a small group of regional representatives to provide some clearer simplified “guidance” based on this AUP document. 


Thanks for your input in advance. 






Peter Drescher

Education Technology Coordinator

Vermont Department of Education

120 State St.

Montpelier, VT  05620-2501

802.828.5149 (ph)

802.828.6563 (fax)

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Twitter:  VTDOE_EdTech

From: School Information Technology Discussion [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Adam Provost
Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 9:08 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: AUPs


The one from Suffield Academy is excellent... Simple language... One page... Font size 12... They've used a similar one for over 18 years now. I think it's still online too.

Sent from my iPad

On Aug 16, 2011, at 11:28 AM, Lucie deLaBruere <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

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

And more

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

On Aug 16, 2011, at 10:28 AM, Heather Chirtea <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

In our experience, the AUPs that sound like they were written by lawyers are not understood, nor will they be used as actual guidance to action. 

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,
Heather Chirtea

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 granted!

On 8/16/2011 12:01 AM, SCHOOL-IT automatic digest system wrote: