Bud Hunt's Sample Blog AUP
21st century literacy requires that students understand and adhere to ethical and legal behaviors in the digital environment. To facilitate this practice, districts and institutions create Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs). An AUP is a set of guidelines typically presented as a contractual agreement between the user and the school or district. Writing an effective AUP involves carefully balancing legal and ethical concerns about online access with an understanding of student needs as 21st century learners.
In 2005, Bud Hunt, instructional technologist for the St. Vrain School District in northern Colorado, posted a draft of an AUP for student blogging in a wiki on his own wiki budtheteacher.com/wiki. He was interested in creating a usable set of guidelines for his students as they began to explore the world of digital writing. In addition, Hunt felt there needed to be a discussion surrounding how to teach what we now know as digital citizenship. In an email exchange with Hunt, he describes the the purpose of his wiki:
I found, during that semester in the Spring of 2005 when my students and I were figuring out what blogging could look like, and what it meant to co-discover something, that it was good to try to map your exploration and to take notes along the way.
And that is exactly what he did. When you explore the wiki, you can see that it is essentially a scratchbook of teacher inquiry. He poses questions and invites students and colleagues to help him uncover new ways of thinking. Though Bud Hunt’s wiki is essentially an artifact now (he no longer adds content in that space), it remains online for teachers who are interested in establishing their own sets of blog guidelines.
On the Blog AUP Wiki, Hunt invited his readers and colleagues to comment on, discuss, and revise the following guidelines for student blogs.
1. Students using blogs are expected to treat blogspaces as classroom spaces. Speech that is inappropriate for class is not appropriate for your blog. While we encourage you to engage in debate and conversation with other bloggers, we also expect that you will conduct yourself in a manner reflective of a representative of this school.
2. Students who violate the agreements here shall forfeit their right to school Internet access and will face other sanctions deemed appropriate by the administration.
3. Student blogs are to be a forum for student expression. However, they are first and foremost a tool for learning, and as such will sometimes be constrained by the various requirements and rules of classroom teachers. Students are welcome to post on any school-appropriate subject (this one might be hard to define. With blogging having such a personal emphasis. I wonder how we balance school and personal lives) at any time, outside of their classroom requirements.
These three guidelines generated a lively conversation, which can still be read on the wiki. At the same time, Hunt drafted a Student Blogging Handbook as he explored how to teach students acceptable use. Hunt’s friend and colleague Darren Kuropatwa took the first guideline from the Blog AUP and combined it with the three listed in the Student Blogging Handbook. He began using these “Blogging Rules” with his students. According to Hunt, these rules have since been picked up by many other teachers as an AUP for student blogs.