We first decided on structuring our RUP through the Learner Profile, as it is common language used at our schools and its attributes are ones we want our students to emulate. Since we want our students to embody these traits as a learner in our classrooms, we also feel that they need to consider these when making decisions about technology. Click here for a better view.
Using the Learner Profile descriptors, we created essential technology agreements. From there, we broke it down into PYP, MYP and DP student agreements. We created these agreements to be appropriate for the students, both in practice and in language at the different program levels. We kept the individual documents down to A4 sized as we felt that was important. We also wanted to create a visual that we could use to share with the community as it’s more engaging than an A4 document.
What we focused on…
We considered a lot of the issues we see daily at our schools, and ones that may not be explicitly stated in many AUP/RUPs. Some of the agreements that personally stand out to me from our RUP are:
I will regularly update the systems and security on my digital devices. (knowledgeable)
I will give attribution in the manner appropriate to the task and the creator’s wishes. (principled)
I will regularly reflect on and update my digital footprint, updating my online presence so it accurately represents who I am. (reflective)
All the BALANCED statements really resonated with me as well:
I will balance how much technology I consume by creating products with technology.
I will experiment with a variety of technology tools. I will choose the most effective technology tools for the tasks at hand.
- I will manage my time spent with technology, ensuring that it is a tool which complements but does not control my life.
I think this is because this is where I see a general weakness in many students. I hear of them watching hours and hours of YouTube videos, I see them attached to their cellphones as soon as the bell rings. As I reflect on this, I also realize that we can’t just rattle off this RUP to students the first week of school and consider it done. We need to provide skills and strategies to help our students reach these agreements.
The Visual Piece…
We also created a presentation that could be used at the three program levels. We thought that these presentations would be best used at a Back to School Night and also to students the first week of school. While we tried to match strong Creative Commons visuals to our agreements, we realized that this was difficult and we weren’t able to show everything in images. We created the structure of the presentation together then “Made a Copy” of that template to create separate documents for each program.
While I am a little weary of posting an “incomplete” presentation here, I truly believe it’s for good reason. I decided after looking (semi-unsuccessfully) for images, that I would like to bring the skeleton of this presentation back to my Student Tech Leader group for them to find where this is happening in our school or to create images which represent these statements through screencasts, screenshots and photos. I think that authentic media will make this presentation a lot more powerful since it will directly connect to our community and my students. Since it will be “student-made” or at least student-enhanced, I think the Tech Leaders will take more ownership of the agreements and be better role models to the rest of the student body.
On sharing with my community…
First of all, the AUP at my school is up for review. I’m going to propose they look at this RUP we created. I think it’s a great piece for an IB school. We want our students to embody the Learner Profile and their lives are so digital. This document connects our technology with our beliefs and the IBO philosophy.
At my school, I have seen a recurring issue with our parent information/parent education sessions. Many parents who attend these sessions are uncomfortable with technology and some do not have “technical English”. Sometimes I feel the overall message and is often “Lost in Translation”. If my school will adopt this Responsible Use Policy, then I would like to again ask students, or my Japanese colleagues to help translate this document into Japanese (and even Korean) as I feel it’s an important document to share with our community.
On working with others…
I felt it was really important to have this experience. Students are regularly asked to work in groups and it is challenging. I luckily had amazing partners in this project and I’m not just saying this because there’s a good chance they’ll read this post. We are all at the end of our school year, living on different continents with an eight hour time difference. Google Docs was a great way for us to collaborate and start to share ideas and find our focus. It’s funny to find that balance of creating and revising at different times and not knowing each other or how the other would react or if we’d connect enough for us all to be happy with our final product. In the past week, we realized that that wasn’t enough. We had to talk. We attempted Google Hangout and Skype, but our connection didn’t allow us to communicate well. We easily used the chat option in the document to fine tune and wordsmith our work.