A written agreement outlining the terms and conditions of Internet usage, including rules of online behavior and access privileges. Because of the possible misuse of school and division-wide computer networks and the Internet by students having access privileges, educational institutions are particularly concerned about having a well-developed AUP in place, which is then signed by the students, their parents (if minors are involved), and their teachers.
Businesses have similar concerns and are also committed to developing AUPs for their computer network and Internet users. Generally, AUPs emphasize the maintenance of courtesy, accountability, and risk management while working online. A well-constructed AUP, therefore, focuses on responsible use of computer networks, the Internet, and the access and transmission of information to others in the virtual community. An AUP in educational institutions also can include a description of suggested strategies for teaching students using the Internet as well as a delineation of appropriate uses of the Internet in the classroom; a breakdown of appropriate network responsibilities for students, teachers, and parents; a well-delineated code of ethics dealing with Internet and computer network usage; a detailing of the fines and penalties that would be imposed if the acceptable Internet use policies were violated; and a statement regarding the importance of complying with relevant telecommunication laws and regulations.
Buckley, J.F., and Green, R.M. 2002 State by State Guide to Human Resources Law. New York, NY: Aspen Publishers, 2002; Virginia Department of Education Department of Technology. Acceptable Use Policies—A Handbook. [Online, July 6, 2004.] Virginia Department of Education Department of Technology Website. http://www.pen.k12.va.us/go/ VDOE/Technology/AUP/home.shtml.