Monday, December 6, 2010

What Have We Learned?

"More and more educators are tapping into the power of digital media and technology for teaching and learning. The variety of information resources available online is simply staggering. Teachers and students are using the power of social media to promote students' active engagement, critical thinking and literacy skills" (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/resources/teachers/).

Undoubtedly, technology has the ability to change the way that teachers teach and students learn. Technology has the ability to appeal to students with different interests and abilities by motivating them to learn using visual, auditory, and kinestetic learning modalities. With properly integrated technology use in education, failing schools can become an extinct concept. For example, one moving example of how technology can transform teaching and learning watch the following video about How Google Changed a School (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/resources/teachers/):


The goal of this blog was to make readers more aware of the ethical issues associated with the important and ever growing topic of using technology in education. These issues include accessibility to electronic data and information, copyright issues, internet use and censorship, cyber bullying, and the use of social networks. In each post, information on a specific important ethical issue was presented, with links to resources for more information for individuals who are responsible for using, implementing, or overseeing technology in education because these issues require schools leaders to make good decisions and implement appropriate procedures and/or policies when tough issues related to technology in education arise on a daily basis.

In education, school administrators are often expected to be the school leaders. Yet, with regards to technology use in education, "Ethical Decision Making Occurs at All Levels of the System" (Professor Christopher Unger, Northeaster University). As shown in the blog posts below, many individuals are responsible for providing leadership to students when it relates to ethical behavior related to technology in education. Teachers, parents, students, and others are involved in implementing the policies and procedures to ensure ethical behavior. After all, technology will continue to evolve, and the specifics of the related issues will change. However, the necessity for teachers, parents, and school administrators to teach their students how to behave with the new technologies will not change.


Levels of Ethical Decision Making by Professor Chris Unger, Northeastern University


The following Ten Commandments For Computer Ethics, developed by Arlene Rinaldi for computer network users at Florida Atlantic University, are a good guideline for teachers, administrators, and students (http://thilina.gunarathne.org/2006/06/ten-commandmentsd-for-computer-ethics.htm):

  1. Thou shalt not use a computer to harm other people.

  2. Thou shalt not interfere with other people's computer work.

  3. Thou shalt not snoop around in other people's files.

  4. Thou shalt not use a computer to steal.

  5. Thou shalt not use a computer to bear false witness.

  6. Thou shalt not use or copy software for which you have not paid.

  7. Thou shalt not use other people's computer resources without authorization.

  8. Thou shalt not appropriate other people's intellectual output.

  9. Thou shalt think about the social consequences of the program you write.

  10. Thou shalt use a computer in ways that show consideration and respect.

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  7. Thanks for sharing. It's a highly topical debate and in my experience, I've found this is especially the case for parents who aren't sure how technology is used for learning. I think you raise a good point in that it can't just be school management who model acceptable use of technology - it must be teachers and parents who are role models too. The ten commandments for computer ethics are great too - would be a great resource to use with slightly older children. Thanks again

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