A 2019 article from the Journal of Research of Technology in Education finds that most AUPs are outdated and too rigid, many focusing more on the legal issues with children using technology instead of developing and nurturing student learning (Sauers, 2019).
Schools need to update the harmful language of AUPs towards “empowering policies” and a more modern “responsible use policy” or RUP (Sauers, 2019). There are plenty of empowering policies and standards related to student use of technology that one could reference, such as those proposed by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). ISTE’s standards for students outline qualifications for students to be “empowered learners, digital citizens, knowledge constructors, innovative designers, computational thinkers, creative communicators, and global collaborators” (ISTE, 2022).
Schools should also seek to address standards related to digital wellbeing in their RUPs as students today are spending excessive amounts of time on their devices both in class and at home, exacerbating the amount of youth depression (Lapierre et al., 2019) and contributing to decreasing academic performance (Demirbilek & Talan, 2018).
RUPs are a call to action for teachers and administrators to engineer solutions to help students stay engaged in the learning process. Investing time to create clear and empowering policies during staff development days and through professional learning committees will provide much needed guidelines for teachers, administrators, and parents to better plan and support students. This will also help classroom management by providing unity between teachers and an end goal to infuse empowering technology policies through the curriculum.
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