CoSN Refreshes Acceptable Use Policy Guide for School Districts

Updated Resource Urges School Technology Leaders to Rethink Digital Media Policies to Enable Transformative Learning
Washington, DC
Thursday, April 4, 2013

Washington, DC (April 4, 2013) – The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has issued a refreshed acceptable use policy (AUP) guide, titled “Rethinking Acceptable Use Policies to Enable Digital Learning: A Guide for School Districts.” Designed to help school system leaders rethink today’s digital media landscape, the updated resource tackles key questions and offers effective solutions to help districts update their AUPs. The guide is provided through CoSN’s Participatory in Schools: Leadership and & Policy initiative.

“While digital media has transcended our culture, schools are increasingly confronted by the dilemma to both protect and provide for their students,” said James Bosco, Principal Investigator of CoSN’s Participatory in Schools: Leadership and & Policy initiative. “Many districts, without knowing, are operating under outdated policies that do not address today’s dangers and online accessibility concerns. The up-to-date AUP Guide will help school leaders both understand the right acceptable use policies and discover how to implement them to better navigate our digitally based environment.”

The AUP Guide addresses the following eight key questions:

  1. How does policy differ from procedure, and does the difference matter?
  2. What federal laws regulate Internet use in schools?
  3. What state laws regulate Internet use in schools?
  4. What are two ways that school districts develop or revise the AUP?
  5. When – how often – should school district AUPs be updated?
  6. What are the implications of moving from an acceptable use policy to a responsible use policy?
  7. Where can I find samples of AUPs?
  8. What are some timely, relevant, and useful resources pertaining to the use of digital media for learning?

In its responses, the guide provides information, solutions and guidance, including encouraging readers to explore other relevant industry resources on AUPs. In addition, the guide provides readers with real examples of districts nationwide – from Katy Independent School District (TX) to Warwick School District (PA) – that have implemented effective digital media policies.

“By providing schools with a thorough understanding of digital risks and dangers, the guide will help district leaders implement policies that strengthen their networks and protect their students in an innovative learning environment,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN.

The AUP Guide is funded by the MacArthur Foundation with additional support from: Adobe, Cable in the Classroom, Gartner, Lenovo, Pearson Foundation and SmartTechnologies.

About the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)

CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments. Visit or phone 866.267.8747 to find out more about CoSN’s Leadership Initiatives, annual conference and events, advocacy and policy, membership, and resources.