Policy Analysis Project ​ITC 5350

April Davala

Overview: Mooresville Graded School District's Responsible Use Policy

For my policy revision project this semester, I chose to work my with school district's Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Scott Smith to revise our district's Technology Responsible Use Policy. ​When conducting my initial meeting with Dr. Smith to discuss our district's policies, how they were developed, and where they were located, we discovered that they RUP was up for revision this year, and Dr. Smith gave me the opportunity to work with him this semester to do that. Hence, a new and improved Mooresville Graded School District Policy was born.

The Beginning....I had to receive an education in all things technical, networking, and policy writing before we could start.

Then, we could begin talking about the actual Policy Revisions...

The First Thing I Noticed..

I quickly realized legal policies were wordy and very hard to understand for the "common person" aka students, parents, and teachers who were supposed to be abiding by these policies. Therefore, Dr. Smith and I began by cutting out all the "non-essential" and "outdated" verbiage.

My Homework for the Next Stages

Once we had eliminated the part of the RUP which no longer pertained to where we were as a district, Dr. Smith gave me a homework assignment to begin researching other larger school district's such as Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Catawba County Schools, and the Houston Independent School District to compare their Acceptable Use and/or Responsible Use Policies to ours and to gain ideas. I found through my research that Houston ISD's Acceptable Use Policy was the most current written as well as the most easy to understand. Therefore, I decided to base my revisions on a format more like their's below.

I Then Moved My Own Revisions to a Shared Google Document with Dr. Smith

Dr. Smith shared the actual Word Document with me from the previous revision, so I could see how the process worked. Then, I took that document and moved it into a shared, collaborative Google Document where I could complete my revisions and Dr. Smith and Dr. Cheney could give me feedback as well.

What Was Added?

For my initial revisions, I added more of an emphasis on Digital Citizenship which was not present in the original policy. I also included a more profound presence of Copyright, Social Media, and updated some of the older technologies referred to with our current ones. Finally, I included a section that specifically references FERPA, COPA, and CIPA more clearly.

The Next Stages..

At this point, my rough draft has been submitted to Dr. Smith for his own revisions. The next steps will be to send the policy to our school district's attorney for his feedback, and then to the School Board for review and voting. The revised Responsible Use Policy will need to sit for thirty days before voting can occur to give the public a chance to review as well. Then, if it is accepted I will create a shorter more condensed version of our policy much like the one for HISD above, that can be given to students and parents during our laptop deployment. I truly believe our Responsible Use Policy may be better followed if it were more comprehendible for those who are asked to adhere to it.

Final Reflection

I have enjoyed this policy analysis project immensely this semester. When I first began this class, I was not sure if I would enjoy much about law and the political nature of the school district. However, as I have learned more and seen how policies and procedures really drive all of the decisions in a school district, I find myself being more intrigued by this entire process. As a teacher and a Technology Facilitator, I feel more informed in my job and better educated to inform others.