Friday, February 18, 2011

Policies and Procedures

One of our teachers, who has been in the school for a number of years, recently reflected on the changes he had seen since the year 2000:  The solid state memory of each iPod touch is 20GByte or one thousand times what each massive computer had in the year 2000 .... None of us knew then what was coming!

As we are reflecting on just how far and how fast we have moved since then, it's important to consider our IT policies, which have not been updated since 2004.  The school didn't have any mobile devices then, nor was there Web 2.0.  We've therefore been discussing the policy and how it needs to be rewritten to reflect current practice - and how some of the things in the policy are not really policies at all - instead they are procedures.  I found it useful to consider the difference between a policy and a procedure and the following paragraph that deals with an AUP to reflect the use of Web 2.0 from the Consortium for School Network Initiative has been very helpful:

Policies are principles or rules that are intended to shape decisions and actions. They provide the framework for the functioning of the organization. Procedures are the ways that organizations implement policies. Policies answer the “what” and “why” questions. Procedures answer the “how,” “who,” and “when” questions. Policies are expressed in broad terms; procedures in more specific behavioral or operational terms. Since procedures need to be more flexible to adapt to changing conditions in the organization, it is useful to differentiate policies from procedures so that procedural modifications can be made in a timely manner—often without board action. 

Now that I've got this straight in my own mind, it's time to have a fresh look at our current policy.

Photo Credit:  So this happens when I get bored in the train :)  by zzaj ♫ {Thomas}

1 comment:

  1. This is really helpful for my thinking as well Maggie. Schools need to be able to update these on a regular basis as technology constantly changes and advances. Hard to believe just how much has changed since 2004!