The increased integration of technology in educational institutions is having a positive impact on students, teachers and administrators alike. Unfortunately this increased use of technology also means a greater
potential for improper use and negative impacts as well. In response to the risk for improper use institutions often put in place what is called an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). According to Roblyer and Doering (2012), the AUP describes the risks of internet use, what use is appropriate, what use is safe, and asks students to agree to use the internet under those described conditions. When it comes to higher education institutions I discovered these AUP’s often refer to or complement separate Student Conduct Code policies. This was the case for the AUP of Chico State University , which specifically referenced those AUP violations that were also student code of conduct code violations. Many AUP’s extend their focus beyond just internet use as well. For example, the AUP of the University of Pennsylvania defines acceptable use for all electronic resources including computers, networks, electronic mail services, electronic information sources, as well as video and voice services.

The National Education Association outlines six important components that make up an effective AUP including a preamble, a definition section, a policy statement, an acceptable uses section, an unacceptable uses section, and a violations/sanctions section (“Getting started on,” 2011). In my review of AUP’s from public universities I found them to vary greatly in structure and content. Some did not necessarily include all the key elements outlined by the National Education Association but were very in depth on those elements that were actually included. The AUP of Colorado State University demonstrated this by not including a traditional definition section but went more in depth than other schools in giving very specific examples of inappropriate conduct. I also discovered that most AUP’s defined acceptable use not just for students, but extended the policies to staff, faculty, and campus visitors as well. The San Francisco State University AUP states that it applies to any user of the University’s technology resources. 

In my opinion institutions need to have an AUP that extends to all electronic resources of a campus and to any potential user of those resources. This is especially important with many schools offering the public access to their campus facilities and resources.  When it comes to the potential liability issues a serious conduct violation could  schools cannot afford to leave anything up to chance.


Getting started on the internet: Developing an acceptable use policy (2011) Retrieved from       
Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. (2012). Integrating educational technology into teaching. (6thed.). Pearson Education Inc.

As time goes on, the positive impacts of technology on our daily lives continue to expand. From better entertaining ourselves during our free time, to more efficiently getting our job done in the workplace, technology consistently allows us to better upon previously established practices or tried and true methods. Now research and real world practice are demonstrating that technology has the potential to positively impact education as well. That is why it is so important for educational institutions embrace technology to help them succeed in their mission.

According to Roblyer and Doering (2012), integrating technology into education helps to overcome several major problem areas for students including issues of motivation and engagement, getting support for individualized learning needs, and receiving adequate preparation for future learning. Through embracing technology our educational institutions also have the potential to offer students resources and opportunities previous generations never could have imagined. Jonasson and Land have stated that, “technology allows learners to represent their thinking in concrete ways and to visualize and test the consequences of their reasoning” (2000). Learning management systems such as Blackboard, WebCT, and Moodle provide an online environment for students to interact with each other, teachers, and subject matter experts through discussions and collaborative assignments. Interactive whiteboards and student response systems provide hands-on interactive learning opportunities within the classroom that were previously not possible just several years ago.

Technology integration into the learning environment also facilitates access and enhances engagement for students with disabilities or impairments thanks to specialized assistive technologies (Roblyer and Doering, 2012). It is not just the potential for improving the student experience that technology integration offers either. Edutopia (2008) states that “Technology also changes the way teachers teach, offering educators effective ways to reach different types of learners.” Technology integration is also positively impacting the way educators assess students and evaluate programs, which is increasingly important in an era of growing standards and accountability measures (Roblyer and Doering, 2012).

The integration of technology into our educational system is rapidly moving from being an option to becoming an expectation. This is especially true in the eyes or our students. Regardless of whether or not long time veterans or traditionalists in the field of educations share their view, the students of the world today have both an expectation and an appetite for technology in their lives. In the end the students are not here for us but rather we are here for the students, which is why we must embrace educational technology to serve them best.


Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. (2012). Integrating educational technology into teaching. (6th ed.). Pearson Education Inc.

Jonassen, D., & Land, S. (2000). Theoretical foundations of learning environments. Mahwah,         New Jersey:  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Edutopia. (2008, March 16.) Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum?: The Reasons Are                Many. Retrieved September 7, 2012 from technologyintegration-introduction