Participate 4- Digital Rights & Responsibilities

ParticipateFor Civility section of the participate module of Georgia Online Professional Learning Course, we are asked to reflect on Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and formulate a plan for supporting and protecting a Digital Learning Community through Digital Rights and Responsibilities.

In a just and fair world, everyone will be kind, will not encroach on another’s rights and earn their pay.  Alas! We do not live in an ideal world.  Both the digital world and real world are have their share  of predators that will not blink before harming others.  Internet provides a cloak of anonymity where bullies, identity thieves and “vultures” may prey on vulnerable netizens.  It is the responsibility of digital citizens to protect themselves by not sharing their social security number, bank accounts or other identifying information online.  They must be aware of norms and laws of the DLC as well as practice digital vigilance.

Be Kind. Use Common Sense. Stay vigilant & guard your privacy. Be mindful of your digital footprint. Collaborate & look for growth opportunities. -Purviben K. Trivedi-Ziemba

The best way to establish and maintain a flourishing DLC where citizens understand, observe, and are inclined to willingly support and ultimately benefit from Digital Rights and Responsibilities is having a viable acceptable use policy (AUP) in place and enforced it after it is read, understand and signed by each member of the DLC.


What is Acceptable Use policy?
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For further discussion of AUP, please visit Common sense Media to observe steps of envisioning, communicating with stakeholders and implementing an AUP.  Next,  Infosec Institute talks about the essentials of an AUP.  Finally,  Dougherty County School System (DCSS) has an excellent AUP for safe and proper use of computer and internet users of DCSS. 

By continuing discourse with our students, inviting them into the decision making process and role modeling,  we can ensure that citizens within the community have access to an environment where an AUP  protects members as well as the community itself, where individuals uphold laws, and a cooperative/collective venture provides robust, safe, and ethical resources and opportunities for learning.  

The youtube video below shows how an efficient educator, Ms. Bailey, engages her students to explore Fair use and copyright in a digital world.     


Protecting intellectual property & giving proper attribution is sometimes hazy.  Who has the ownership of a content created while creating curriculum for a class?  Is the content created for teaching a lesson to students a part of the curriculum district property or should they benefit financially for that? In this case, knowledge of the district policy is required.  For a student project, I would like to review this YouTube video with my students: 





This is one of the post in a series for GA Online Professional Learning Course.  You can find similar posts by searching for hashtag #eteachertool


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Additional Resources:

The Library of Congress resource, Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright explains the basics of U.S. Copyright Law.

The U.S. Copyright Office offers answers to frequently asked questions about copyright.

Creative Commons licenses provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for digital content creators.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s informative Fair Use FAQ webpage explains how Fair Use works.

Common Sense Media’s Acceptable Use Policies
 suggests helpful universal guidelines for developing AUPs.