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Syllabus Policy Language

Smart Use of Technology


Your technology policy should outline the appropriate use of laptops, cell phones, and other personal devices in accordance with your learning goals. It should clearly state how and when students are expected to use their devices. Banning technology can present accessibility challenges, so be mindful about what restrictions you place on technology use. You can also provide students with guidance on effective technology management outside of the classroom.

Suggested Language:

In class:

Some form of personal device, whether laptop, tablet, or phone, will be needed to get the most out of our class sessions. Throughout, we will be using the internet as a means to enhance our discussions and collaborate with one another. I ask that you refrain from activities that are unrelated to the class, such as checking your email or browsing, as they can be distracting not only to yourself but also to others. However, I understand that emergencies happen. If you need to take care of personal matters (I hope everything is alright!), please step into the hallway.


Out of class:

This course relies heavily on access to computers, specific software, and the Internet. At some point during the semester you WILL have a problem with technology: your laptop will crash, a file will become corrupted, a server will go down, or something else will occur. These are facts of life, not emergencies. Technology problems will not normally be accepted as excuses for unfinished work. Count on “stuff” happening and protect yourself by doing the following:

  • Plan ahead – start early, particularly if scarce resources are required
  • Save work often – at least every ten minutes
  • Make regular backups of files in a different location from the originals
  • Save drafts of work at multiple stages
  • When editing an image, set aside the original and work with a copy
  • Practice safe computing when surfing the web and checking email
  • On your personal computer, install and use software to control viruses and malware