Keeping your Digital Hands to Your Digital Self

photoPart of my job as an Academic Coach is to present demo lessons. A lesson that has been requested  often is the one I facilitate on creating a classroom Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). You can see an example of what an AUP should contain by visiting Having an AUP in place before starting with mobile devices (or any technology) in the classroom is a critical step in having a successful mobile device initiative and Common Core implementation. The classroom AUP is created with student input, is stated in positive language, and is created in addition to the school or district AUP.

The lesson I facilitate with students takes between 30-40 minutes depending on how much experience the students have . Throughout the lesson, the students and I create a Tree Map (from Thinking Maps, with “iPads in the Classroom” as our topic and the following three branches: Classroom Behavior, Device Management, and Educational Uses. For each branch, there are non-negotiable elements that the teacher and I have discussed. Even if the students don’t generate these ideas in their group conversations, the teacher or I will make sure that these topics get put on the Tree Map.

One of the most important things that goes on the Tree Map is: “Keep Your Digital Hands to Your Digital Self.” In the elementary schools I work with, the students are sharing the devices. For this reason, some additional rules about acceptable use need to be discussed. Here are the things I tell the students:

  • Leave photos in the camera roll, even if you didn’t take them
  • If another student has started a presentation of any kind, leave it alone or save it and start a new one
  • In a shared Dropbox or Google Drive account, only open your own work and keep comments appropriate
  • Get permission before using the camera and before taking photos or video of others
  • If you come across anything that is not appropriate for school, tell the teacher immediately

The concept  “Keep Your Digital Hands to Your Digital Self” leads to more robust lessons on digital citizenship. The AUP lesson is just the introduction so that there are guidelines in place for students to begin using the devices in the classroom. Follow up lessons with more practice with being good digital citizens is the key to continued success as Common Core requires students to interact with content on digital media.

What Do You Think?

How do you introduce iPads and Acceptable Use to your students?



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