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Reflection: The Significance of Policies on the Classroom Expectations

Reflection: The Significance of Policies on the Classroom Expectations

Author: Kathleen Johnson

Guide learners in ways to reflect on the limitations and benefits of acceptable use and responsible use policies as they relate to their classrooms

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Hello, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you are having a wonderful day today.

Today I would like to go ahead and look at reflection, specifically reflecting on the significance of policies on your classroom expectations. We're looking at these policies within the classroom, specifically in a blended learning environment.

For today's lesson, I've chosen a quote by John Locke, which states, "education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company, and reflection must finish him." By the end of today's lesson, you will be able to reflect on the limitations of acceptable use as compared to responsible use policies, specifically focusing in on the significance of those policies, as they can help or hinder your classroom expectations.

First, I want to go ahead and define AUP and RUP. First, let's look at those acceptable use policies. Acceptable use policies are a set of rules that students or users acknowledge that restricts the way the computer, software, and various websites that are visited can be used. Now, these policies are intended to protect the school from legal action, but they're also intended to protect the user from mature or unacceptable content.

This is different from what we call RUP or responsible use policies. Responsible use policies are a set of rules that outlines what the computer user is responsible for, such as following local state or federal regulations and school rules. Now, in turn, the school then promises if you follow those, to maintain the security of the system. And users recognize that their access can be terminated if they don't follow that responsible use policy.

Now that we've reminded ourselves of the differences between acceptable use policies and responsible use policies, it's really important to reflect on your own classroom and lesson objectives. And then ask yourself the question, how will the acceptable use policy or a responsible use policy in place help or hinder my teaching? That's the question we want to ask ourselves as we reflect.

So now, let's focus in on reflecting on those acceptable use policies and those responsible use policies. For that reflection, we are going to use Marzano's framework. Specifically, we're going to look at domain seven, which is recognizing adherence to rules and procedures.

First, let's focus in on indicator 33, which focuses on demonstrating withitness. This is the teachers awareness of what is going on with all the learners at any given moment in the lesson. This is exceptionally difficult to do with all of your students, especially when you're looking at their adherence to an acceptable use policy or responsible use policy. Because you are asking yourself to constantly be aware of what each student is doing on their electronic device while trying to instruct.

One of the best things I can say is, first, forgive yourself. Because you are not going to be able to take everything in at the same time. In fact, that's why frequent reflection is so important.

First, are you with it? Are you aware of what is going on with your learners at any given moment in the lesson? If you're not, try to up that awareness. If you are doing the best you can, see what you can do to add to it. This is where I would recommend, if you have them available, asking another teacher, a mentor, or a peer leader to come in and be another set of eyes for you. So that you are able to make sure that you are aware of what's going on with your learners, and really focus in on maybe some of those learners that you need to be giving more attention to than others.

Even more specifically, when we look at our reflection on acceptable use policies as opposed to responsible use policies, we want to look at really, the limitations of those acceptable use policies. So much of the content for an AUP is restricted. And in that sense, the teacher has no control over that. So that the objectives need to be adjusted for what will be unavailable, as opposed to a RUP.

Now with a RUP, specifically within this indicator 33, a teacher really needs to have that increased withitness in the sense that as students have the ability to view what could be considered inappropriate, that represents a challenge. And that teacher needs to be exceptionally with it when students are engaging in that online work, especially in larger classrooms.

Indicator 34 is applying consequences for a lack of adherence to rules and procedures. After you have gone over the acceptable use policy or the responsible use policy with your students, have you made it clear what the consequences will be if they fail to adhere to those rules and procedures? And if you have, are you following through on those consequences?

If students believe that there will not be any actual consequences inflicted for not following, then they will find it much easier to not follow. Sometimes it's really hard to feel like you are sacrificing one student up for the sake of the whole class, but you need to make sure that you are consistent in applying those consequences.

That being said, on a more positive note, indicator 35 for Marzano's framework of domain seven reminds you to acknowledge adherence to rules and procedures. How good are you at acknowledging students who are following that acceptable use policy or the responsible use policy that is put in place in your school, your district, but specifically in your classroom? Just as we are going to make sure that we are constantly being clear and specific and we are following through on those consequences, we need to remind ourselves to congratulate and celebrate students in our classrooms who are doing a good job of adhering to those rules and procedures.

Now that you have come to the end of today's lesson, you have been able to reflect on the limitations of acceptable use as compared to responsible use policies.

Now I would like to take just a moment for reflection. Now that you've had an opportunity to review the reflection process, specifically as it applies to the limitations of acceptable use as compared to responsible use policies, what do you think would be the most difficult part of implementing either acceptable use or responsible use policies within your teaching environment? Please feel free to pause the video while you think about your answer to this question.

As we go into a moment of reflection today, I want you to take a moment because it is now your turn to apply what you've learned in this video. The Additional Resources section will also be incredibly helpful for you. This section is designed to help you discover useful ways to apply what you've learned here. Each link in that section includes a brief description so that you can easily target those resources that you want.

That is all we have for right now. Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.

Notes on "Reflection: The Significance of Policies on the Classroom Expectations"

(00:00-00:34) Intro

(00:35-00:56) Objectives

(00:57-02:36) AUP & RUP Definitions

(02:37-06:58) Reflecting Using Marzano’s Framework Domain 7

 (06:59-07:12) Review

(07:13-08:16) Reflection

Additional Resources

Carnegie Mellon - The Syllabus: Course Policies / Expectations

This site stresses the importance of setting expectations when using online or blended learning. There are useful links to policies that will help you craft your own classroom policies and expectations.

How to Break Down Rules, Procedures and Expectations

This resource is a useful tool that supports teachers in building classroom expectations and procedures that are aligned to the school and district expectations. This is a practical guide that teachers can employ in their own practice.