Open Thinkering


Acceptable Use Agreements, Definitions & Digital Guidelines

Over the past week I’ve been working on policies and documents relating to E-Learning and electronic resources at the Academy. The following are links to the Google Docs that were created with feedback from my Twitter network. They are very much still in draft form and I would therefore appreciate further feedback! 🙂

The idea is that the Acceptable Use Agreements stay relatively static, with the ‘Digital Guidelines’ and definition of what the Academy deems ‘inappropriate’ being more flexible and fluid.

Creative Commons License

All of these policies and guidelines are available under a Creative Commons license. You must give attribution, not use them for a commercial purpose, and share any derivative works using an equivalent license. Other than that, use away!

I’d like to thank Andrew Churches, whose excellent Digital Citizen AUA was the starting point for the Primary and Secondary AUA’s above. 😀

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7 thoughts on “Acceptable Use Agreements, Definitions & Digital Guidelines

  1. Hi Doug, and cheers for the examples. What I worry about, and why I’m always loath to give model documents myself without framing, is that at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how wonderful your policy is if no one actually reads or cares about them. IMHO the conversation around AUPs needs to focus primarily on the process rather than the content. How do we develop these documents in ways that are meaningful to our educational communities? How do we get our communities to actually read and think about what we are outlining in these agreements – their rights and responsibilities concerning community provided and shared resources and connectivity. How do we make sure that engagement is meaningful, ie effective, rather than tick-box, active and thoughtful rather than passive. In this respect community guidelines might provide a useful supplementary model – I like the Flickr example

    1. Excellent point about such agreements and policy documents being about conversation, Josie. In much the same way I collaboratively built these agreements with my Twitter network, I’ll be seeking feedback from staff and students at the Academy via the forums on the Learning Platform and in face-to-face meetings.

      Thanks for the link to Flickr guidelines. :-)

  2. Hi Doug,

    Many thanks for today’s excellent talk at Felsted, which was very informative. I’m overhauling our AUP at the moment and I like the different options you provide, especially the attempted definitions of what is inappropriate and the dangers of digital online. I did a talk to senior school boys and girls at Berkhamsted last term and have turned one version of it into a Flash based booklet on You can find it @:
    I think this is one of those issues that we need to keep returning to, as Josie has said. Maybe we should make the list of inappropriate behaviour the wallpaper for all students?

    With the permission of SMT I created a fake female figure on Facebook and got a few older students to befriend me. They were shocked when I revealed ‘Karen’s’ true ID in assembly! The same was true with 6th form mobile numbers, which I harvested from openly accessible pages on Facebook. They made a lovely numerical animation that greeted them as they came into the Monday morning assembly.

    Once I’ve got the new AUP sorted (and mine at the mo is including the dangers of blogging on educational issues but not offending your employer) I’ll be thinking about the next shock and awe tactics to raise student awareness of web safety and etiquette.

    All the best,


    1. Hi Sacha, glad you enjoyed the presentation!

      Great idea r.e. the fake Facebook account – I bet *that* made them sit up and take notice! :-) Thanks for the link to your E-safety booklet – shall explore further…

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