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Technology Ethics in the Classroom

Instructor: Stefani Boutelier

Stefani has a PhD in Education and is a life long learner.

The accessibility of information through technology is endless. In the classroom, students and teachers must follow ethical guidelines for appropriate use. In this lesson you will learn what some of the expectations are and how to use them.

Technology in the Classroom

Our communication is not limited to writing letters or having conversations, and as a society, we've moved far beyond making simple phone calls. Our world and our classrooms are filled with emoticons and endless acronyms for texting and communicating. We're instantly gratified with the ON button of our electronics. Depending on who you are, you might even spend more time with technology than with other people! As amazing and accessible as technology in the classroom can be, it can also open a can of worms for inappropriate, illegal, and time-wasting programs.

Ethics in the Classroom

Teaching ethical behavior in the classroom isn't mandated curriculum, but these skills are still important and should be expected from the student and the teachers. Basic ethical behaviors may include kindness, equality, trust, and mutual respect, and these are just as important in technology ethics. Now that technology is so intertwined with how we learn, ethics relating to computer usage needs to be added and continually revisited to keep that can of worms mentioned earlier contained.

Students must learn internet search rules and what can be appropriately accessed during the school day. Depending on the age group, website security controls may need to be in place. Students must also be constantly reminded that they shouldn't believe everything they read and that not all sites are reliable. This needs to be constantly emphasized.

Giving Credit

Can you picture a class that doesn't implement material found online in today's world? Imagine that you're a teacher for a second. You're going to have to model, teach, and repeat technology ethics in every class that involves technology or material obtained from the internet. You're going to have to teach copyright laws, Fair Use Guidelines for Educators, and how or what students can appropriately use. Your students would also have to be taught proper citation of sources.

Copyright Laws and Fair Use

If you legally acquire material from the internet for educational purposes, then it can be used in the classroom according to the Fair Use Guidelines, whether you're a teacher or a student. It can't be republished and must be given credit, due to copyright laws. It's okay for use in student projects and in the class' curriculum.

Assume everything has a copyright on the internet and go from there. The 10% rule is good to model to live by; think of it as using no more than 10% of any work. APA and MLA formatting are the most common forms of citation. The citations can be added in a bibliography or somewhere on the direct page.

The Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics

The Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics can be used and discussed for most age groups. The credit of these ten rules goes to the Computer Ethics Institute and the author Dr. Ramon C. Barquin. They are:

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