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Developing Ethical Behaviors in Students

Developing Ethical Behaviors in Students: What Schools Must Do
for Educational and Media Technology Yearbook 2002

Doug Johnson
Director of Media and Technology
Mankato Area Public Schools, Mankato (MN)
Copyright 2002

Stories abound that can cause any educator nightmares:
•    a student is caught downloading pornographic materials on school computers
•    a student is abducted by a stranger she has met in an Internet chat room
•    a group of students hack into a school server and cause damage
•    a student uses the printer in the computer lab to print reams of encyclopedia pages
•    a student sets up a satirical “school” website that appears critical of individual teachers
•    parents complain to the school board when their children are suspected of plagiarizing materials from the Internet
•    a student receives unsavory spam sent to his school email account
•    students use the Internet to locate information from hate groups
And the list goes on. Highly publicized stories like these are enough to make even the strongest proponent of technology use in schools wonder if technology is worth the problems it generates.

It is sometimes difficult to remember that technology is neutral. It’s neither evil nor holy. The same hammer that builds a cathedral can be efficiently used to break the cathedral’s windows. The same mechanical engineering that caused the traffic accident takes the injured to the hospital. The same Internet connection that helps students find great information for a term paper can be used to download pornography.

Of all the understandings that school leaders need about technology, its proper use is easily the most important for them to have. Adults teach by example so they must exemplify safe and ethical technology use. Administrators are responsible for enforcing ethical computer use through good policy writing, good staff development activities, and the enforcement of school rules related to technology use. All schools must take deliberate steps to insure that students are not just being taught how to use to technology, but how to use it productively, safely and wisely

Educators must plan deliberately if technology is to be safely, legally and ethically used in schools and if schools are to be effective in creating young citizens who will continue to be safe and ethical users even when not being supervised. Such an effort has three major components:
1.    It must develop adult awareness of the safe and ethical dimensions of technology use.
2.    It must create good technology policies, guidelines and rules.
3.    It must offer opportunities for both staff and students to build understandings and practice ethical actions.

The components of such a plan are briefly examined below.

What adults need to understand
When students start using technology, especially information technologies that consist of computers and computer networks, they start operating in a new world: a virtual world where behaviors may not be as easily judged to be right or wrong. If a student steals a music CD from a local store explaining that the reason she stole it was that she did not have the money to purchase it, we can easily judge that action to be both illegal and unethical. However if a student downloads a copyrighted piece of music from the Internet giving the same reason, we may question the impropriety of the action. Nothing physical was stolen. It is a common practice. The likelihood of being caught is negligible.

Young people, especially teenaged children, are more knowledgeable and more comfortable in the virtual world – “cyberspace” – than are most of the adults who now teach them. As reported by the Center for Media Education (2001):
“Yet while there has been substantial public debate about protecting children and teens from inappropriate and harmful content on the Internet, very little is really understood about the nature of the digital content and services created for and by teens – the actual Web sites where they spend so much time and to which they devote so much attention. As a consequence, even as this new medium is becoming a pervasive presence in teens’ lives, it remains largely under the radar of parents, scholars, and policymakers alike.”

As a first step in insuring student ethical use of technologies, schools first need to make sure that teachers and other staff members understand some important concepts.

1.    What technology (or computer) ethics means.
Computer ethics, better labeled “information technology ethics,” deal with the proper use of a wide range of telecommunication and data storage devices. Ethics is the branch of philosophy that deals with moral judgments, issues of right and wrong, and determining what behaviors are humane and inhumane. Most Western codes of ethical behavior describe actions as “ethical” that do one or more of the following:
    - promote the general health of society
    - maintain or increase individual rights and freedoms
    - protect individuals from harm
    - treat all human beings as having an inherent value and accord those beings respect
    - uphold religious, social, cultural, and government laws and mores.
Simply, an “ethical action” does no harm to oneself, other individuals, or society.

The terms “ethical,” “safe,” “moral,” “appropriate” and “legal” are all used when discussing whether technology behaviors are right or wrong. While often used almost interchangeably, there are distinctions among the terms.
•    Ethical use is most generic term that applies to actions that may be considered right or wrong.
•    Safe use applies to situations in which physical harm may come to a user or user’s property.
•    Moral use applies to situations to which religious or spiritual values apply. (Is the action good or evil?)
•    Appropriate use applies to actions which may be right or wrong depending on when, where and with whom they happen.
•    Legal use applies to situations in which established laws are violated.

A single action may be unethical, unsafe, immoral, inappropriate and illegal (such as sending a computer virus that harms data). But many acts fall more into one category and not another. The viewing of pornography arguably may be construed as immoral, but not unsafe or illegal if done by an adult in private. A student using a school computer to view sports scores is not illegal, but it could be considered inappropriate if it violates school guidelines.

Any discussion about ethical behaviors is challenging because human beings usually place actions on an ethical continuum rather than simply judging them as ethical or unethical. Because of personal values established by religion, upbringing, education, and experience, it is difficult to reach consensus on many of these value-laden issues. A single act by a student can be construed as mischievous (or even ethical) by one teacher and malicious by another.

2. The responsibility of schools in teaching computer ethics.
In direct and indirect ways, children begin to learn ethical values from birth. And while families and the church are assigned the primary responsibility for a child’s ethical education, schools have the societal charge to teach and reinforce some moral values, especially those directly related to citizenship and school behaviors. Nearly all ethical issues that surround technology deal with societal and school behaviors and are an appropriate and necessary part of the school curriculum. Schools not teaching ethical behavior are negligent in fulfilling the responsibilities expected of them by society.

3. Why technology ethics deserve special consideration.
Using technology to communicate and operate in a “virtual world,” one that only exists within computers and computer networks, is a new phenomenon that is not well understood by many adults who received their primary education prior to its existence.

Both fear and romance accompany new technologies. Movies, as well as books and television programs, often make ethically questionable or illegal actions, such as breaking into secure computer systems, seem heroic or at least sympathetic. Despite the fact that there exist many parallels between the physical and virtual worlds that can help us place new virtual experiences into a more familiar context, there are major differences between these worlds as well.
•    Intellectual property in digital formats, whether software, images, music or text, can now be duplicated with incredible ease and speed making copyright violations and plagiarism more common.
•    Prior to the Internet, minors faced physical barriers of access to sexually explicit, hate-group, and terrorist materials.
•    Access to strangers is no longer primarily seen as a physical threat and a known risk, but can happen in chat rooms or via email.
•    The ability to send unsolicited commercial messages to millions of Internet email users (spamming) was not possible before there was email or the Internet.
•    Digital photography has made the manipulation of images undetectable, an impossible feat with chemical photography.

One of the most significant reasons that computer ethics deserve special attention is because of our rather human ability to view one’s actions in the intangible, virtual world of information technologies as being less serious than one’s actions in the real world. Most adults or children would never contemplate walking into a computer store and shoplifting a computer program. Yet software piracy (the illegal duplication of computer programs) costs the computer business billions of dollars each year. Most of us would never pick a lock, but guessing passwords to gain access to unauthorized information is a too-common activity.

Information technology misuse by many people, especially the young, is viewed as a low-risk, game-like challenge. Electronic fingerprints, footsteps, and other evidence of digital impropriety have historically been less detectable than physical evidence. There is a physical risk when breaking into a real office that does not exist when hacking into a computer database from one’s living room or den. Illegally copying a book is costly and time consuming; illegally copying a computer program can be easily done in seconds at very small expense. Pornography viewed on a website seems to disappear as soon as the browser window is closed.

Educators need to be aware and understand that another, counter set of “ethical” behavior also exists - that espoused by hackers. Being described as a “hacker” once indicated only a strong interest and ability in computer use. Popular use of the word has changed, so that now “hacking” describes gaining unauthorized access to computerized systems and data. The term “cracker” is also used, but is often used to describe a hacker who has a malicious intent. Some common hacker beliefs include:
•    All information, especially digital information, should be free and available to all people.
•    Breaking into computer systems points out security features to those who are responsible for maintaining them.
•    Hacking is a form of learning about computers and is harmless.
•    Hackers help monitor the abuse of information by the government and business (Johnson, D. G., 2000).
Teachers need to know and understand these counterculture beliefs and be able to offer reasons why they need to be questioned for their logic and ethics.

4. Existing ethical codes of technology use.
Not long ago, ethical technology questions were only of interest to a very few specialists. But as the use of information technologies spreads throughout society and its importance to our national economies and individual careers grows, everyone will need to make good ethical decisions when using information technologies. Studies show that persons involved in computer crimes acquire both their interest and skills at an early age.

Many organizations and individuals have written lists of ethical “rules” for technology use. One of the mostly widely used and easily understood sets of computer use principles is “The Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics” from the Computer Ethics Institute (1992) that reads much like the biblical Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt not use a computer to harm other people. Thou shalt not interfere with other people’s computer work.” etc.

Arlene Rinaldi (1998) has written a well-respected set of Internet guidelines called “The Net: User Guidelines and Netiquette.” This more informal set of expected behaviors helps new users learn the manners and etiquette of an often-impatient online community. In her guide, newbies (inexperienced telecommunications users) learn that typing in all capital letters is considered shouting and therefore rude; sending chain letters via email is improper and a waste of resources; and humor and sarcasm are easily viewed as criticism and should be used with care in electronic communications

A variety of guides should be made available to staff and students and one should either be adopted or an original set of guidelines written. While an entire school or district may wish to use a single set of guidelines, each classroom teacher needs to understand, teach, and model the guidelines. Simple, easily remembered for children are probably the best:

Johnson’s 3 P’s of Technology Ethics:
1.    Privacy - I will protect my privacy and respect the privacy of others.
2.    Property - I will protect my property and respect the property of others.
3.    aPpropriate Use - I will use technology in constructive ways and in ways which do not break the rules of my family, religion, school, or government. (Johnson, D.A., 1998)

Although sometimes more difficult to enforce in a consistent manner, a set of a few guidelines rather than lengthy set of specific rules is more beneficial to students in the long run. By applying guidelines rather than following rules, students engage in higher level thinking processes and learn behaviors that will continue into their next classroom, their homes, and their adult lives.

5. The major issues of technology ethics
The scope of information technology ethics is very broad. In thinking about ethical behaviors, categorizing the issues under the major headings of privacy, property, and appropriate use helps provide a framework for discussions. Scenarios and discussion questions for the issues discussed below can be found on the author’s website at <www.doug-johnson.com/ethics/> (Johnson, D 2002).

Privacy - Does my use of the technology violate the privacy of others or am I giving information to others that I should not?
Privacy issues are a hot-button topic as citizens become more aware of how easily technology can gather, hold and analyze personal data. Students need to be aware of technology issues related to privacy both so that they can protect their own privacy and honor the privacy of others.

Protecting one’s privacy
•    Students need to understand that businesses and organizations use information to market products, and that information is often gathered electronically, both overtly and covertly. Information given to one organization may well be sold to others. All citizens should be able to articulate and control to the degree possible the amount of information a company knows about him or her. A company that knows a lot about an individual can use it to customize products for that person, but also manipulate him.
•    As students use technology to communicate, they need to know that a stranger is a stranger, whether met on the playground or on the Internet. The same rules we teach children about physical strangers apply to virtual strangers as well. In conversing in chat rooms, with instant messaging programs, or through email, students lose the visual clues to the other person. We know only what the other person tells about him or herself (often much to the chagrin of those in search of romance on the Internet.)
•    Schools have the right to search student and employee files that are created and stored on school owned computer hardware. Schools have search policies on lockers and book bags, and the same policy can be extended to computer storage devices.

Respecting others’ privacy
•    Because information appears on a computer screen doesn’t make it public. Students who are accustomed to the public viewing of television monitors need to realize that student created work on a computer screen should be treated as privately as work created in a paper journal.
•    Information inadvertently left accessible does not mean that it is appropriate to access it. Forgetting to lock one’s home is not the same as allowing anyone to enter it. While information may be about students (such as grades), that information does not necessarily belong to them. Students certainly do not have the right to look at information about other students. One question that might be raised is: “What right do students have to check the accuracy of the data gathered about them and what would be the correct procedure for making that check?”

Property issues - Do my actions respect the property of others and am I taking steps to keep my property safe?
Property issues, especially those regarding intellectual property, have come to the forefront of ethics discussions. As noted earlier in this article, the ease with which property can be copied has led to greater instances of piracy, plagiarism, and even distain for copyright laws as evidenced in the rampant use of Napster-like music acquisition. Like privacy, students need to understand that property is a two-sided issue: they need to respect the property of others as well as protect their own property from the abuses of others.

Respecting the property of others
•    Students need to know that computer software is protected by copyright law. It is unlawful, as well as unethical, to make copies of computer programs without permission or payment to the producer of those programs. It also needs to be understood that when purchasing software, one is usually only purchasing the right to use the software. The ownership of the code that comprises the program stays with the producer. This means that one cannot alter the program or resell it. The vast majority of software licenses require that one copy of a program be purchased for each computer on which it is to be run. The inability to pay for software is not a justification for illegal copying.
•    Software falls into three main types: freeware (that which can be used indefinitely without payment); shareware (that which can be used for a trial period and then must either be erased or purchased); and commercial software (that which must be purchased before use). Understanding the concept of shareware is a good way of helping students understand why purchasing software benefits them. The profits that software producers make are partially used to fund the development of more software. If the profit motive is lost from software creation, less software and fewer improvements are likely to be made.
•    Plagiarism is easier than ever, thanks to the computer. Students need to understand when and how to cite information from a broad range of print, electronic and primary sources. Academic work is increasingly becoming available for sale or downloading from the Internet. On-line services now offer help in writing “personal” essays requested for college admissions offices.
•    Both hacking and creating viruses are property offenses because they cause damage or misuse technology resources such as bandwidth.
•    Students need to learn to treat intellectual property the same way they would treat physical property and that the theft or destruction of such property is unethical (and unlawful). Deleting a file or erasing a disk constitutes the destruction of property even though the magnetic medium of the hard drive or the plastic case of the computer disk is left intact.
•    Deliberate waste of school materials through excessive printing is not uncommon. Students need to understand that it is wrong to waste finite resources. Like vandalism, students need to understand that everyone is affected by such activities.

Protecting one’s own property
•    Students need to know about the unethical practices of others and how protect themselves from those practices.
o    Computer viruses, often infecting a computer through downloading software from the Internet, can be detected and destroyed by virus protection programs. Students need to know how to find, install, and use these programs.
o    Investment, health, and employment scams are rampant on the Internet.
•    Students need to know that their own original work is protected by copyright laws and that they have a right to give or not give permission for others to use it.
•    All technology users need to know that passwords must be kept confidential to prevent the unauthorized access to a student’s data (and to insure privacy).
•    All citizens (including students) have the ethical responsibility for reporting wrongdoing, including destruction of property. While there are many reasons why students are reluctant to do so, as adults we need to express our beliefs that reporting unethical or criminal behavior serves a social purpose. Younger students often believe that school property is owned by the teachers and administrators, and are surprised to learn that it is their parents’ taxes or fees that must be used to pay for vandalized or stolen school resources.

Appropriate use - Does this use of technology have educational value and is it in keeping with the rules of my family, my religion, my school and my government?

Appropriate use is often a gray area of technology ethics. Rules made because of scarcity of resources, because of religious values, and for actions that may simply be tasteless or cause discomfort in others are difficult to create and enforce. The range of misuse of technology in this category ranges from the mischievous to the malicious. Place, audience and purpose can all be factors in whether an action can be gauged as appropriate.

•    Most schools allow students to use free time in school to complete personal tasks -to read a book or magazine for enjoyment, to write a letter to a friend, or to draw for pleasure. Technology, too, should be available for students for uses not tied directly to the curriculum - to play games, to send personal email, or to search for Internet information of personal interest. The ethical issue here becomes that of an allocation of resources. For most schools, the demand for technology has outpaced its acquisition. Computers and Internet access are usually in short supply, and priority needs to be given to students who have an academic task to complete.
•    Students may use personal technologies inappropriately at school. Personal digital assistants (PDAs), cell phones, pagers and wireless laptop computers give students the ability to communicate surreptitiously. This form of communication can be used to cheat as well as distract from classroom activities.

•    A good deal of Internet content is tasteless, offensive, and lacking in educational value. Schools should define and teachers should help students understand the qualities and conditions under which an item becomes inappropriate for school use. Students need to understand the concepts of pornography, racism, and sexism. Students may be exposed to information produced by hate groups and political extremists. Such experiences may be springboards to meaningful discussions about propaganda and free speech issues. Materials and topics that students may access from home without parental disapproval are not always appropriate for reading or viewing in schools where a wide range of value systems exist.
•    Most schools have harassment policies and appropriate language rules. Students need to understand that harassment is wrong regardless of its medium. And of course, they need to recognize that language used among friends is not always the language used in public discourse of any kind.

•    As noted earlier in this article, technology is neutral. Technology can be used to generate attention and for mischief – two great goals children and young adults have always had.
•    Students can use technology to “edit” photographs. Deliberate distortion of events may harm both those involved in the event as well as the reputation of the reporter. While such actions may seem frivolous, journalistic integrity is a serious issue of which even young photographers need to be aware.
•    Just as students have created “alternate” school newspapers of a satiric nature, they are now creating “alternate” school websites and personal student websites that are hosted on non-school computers. Unless the messages on them can be proven to be libelous or threatening, these sites are protected by students’ First Amendment rights. School officials need to be careful in how they deal with sites, despite the degree of embarrassment they might cause.
•    Disguise, impersonation, and other forms of “trying on” new personalities are common childhood and adolescent behaviors. The anonymity of the Internet limits such impersonation only to the degree that a lack of a student’s writing skills or sophistication of thought allows discovery. Role-playing in a physical context is often seen as both healthy and educational. We need to help students ask when such activities are productive and when they might be harmful.
•    Students need to be aware that the Internet is rife with hoaxes and learn to check sites carefully for authenticity and accuracy. (United States Department of Energy, 2002)

5. What all students need to understand.
It is quite obvious that students need to understand and apply both school rules and local and national laws that apply to information technology use, especially those related to privacy, property and appropriateness as described above. They need to know the immediate and the long-term consequences for both themselves and society if they choose to act against school rules or the law.

Students also need to know that the ability of officials to detect technology misuse is growing. Network security systems are becoming more sophisticated in tracking who uses what resource at what time. Students need to realize that most web browsers keep a viewable log of recently visited sites, that most email includes a return address, and that some schools are using programs that record all the keystrokes a student makes during a computer session. All of us need to understand that organizations have the right to search file server space and read the email of students (and staff), especially if there is probable cause. Electronic fingerprints, virtual footprints, and broken digital locks are growing more visible each day.

Students need to understand both their rights and responsibilities related to information technology use. As the Internet becomes a more indispensable source of information and learning activities, it may become viewed as an integral part of one’s right to an education, but rights are accompanied by responsibilities. We have an obligation to teach students that they have a right to due process if charged with a violation of rules or laws. Pragmatically, students need to know how to protect themselves and their data from strangers, hackers, computer viruses, and unauthorized use.

Policies, guidelines and rules schools need to have
School officials who understand the ethical issues surrounding technology use can use those understandings to formulate policies, rules and guidelines for it use by both students and staff. These rules should be in written form, readily available, and frequently revised.

1.    Acceptable Use Policies. Most schools now have adopted an “Acceptable Use Policy” that governs the use of the Internet and other information technologies and networks in a school. This policy needs to be school board adopted and should apply to both staff and student technology use. Everyone in the school, as well as parents, needs to know and understand these policies. The Mankato Schools’ Acceptable Use Policy (Mankato Area Public Schools, 1998) describes the role of networked technologies in education, the due processes by which violators of the policy are protected, and some explicit rules of use:
Users are prohibited from using school district Internet resources or accounts for the following purposes:
1.    To access, upload, download, or distribute pornographic, obscene or sexually explicit material.
2.    To transmit or receive obscene, abusive or sexually explicit language.
3.    To violate any local, state or federal statute.
4.    To vandalize, damage or disable the property of another person or organization.
5.    To access another person’s materials, information, or files without the implied or direct permission of that person.
6.    To violate copyright laws, or otherwise use another person’s property without the person’s prior approval or proper citation, including the downloading or exchanging of pirated software or copying software to or from any school computer.
7.    Unauthorized commercial use or financial gain.

2.    Website guidelines. Schools that have created websites will need to establish guidelines. These guidelines usually address:
•    the purpose of the website
•    the identification and responsibility for oversight of the website
•    the persons authorized to create and maintain pages on the site
•    content standards for the site including subject matter and quality
•    privacy safeguards for students placing work on the site including whether photographs, email addresses, and whether parental permission needs to be given
•    a short restatement of general technology use policies of the district that apply to the use of the website specifically
•    technical standards including using standard html conventions, limiting the size and amount graphic files, establishing the date and authorship of pages, and establishing a schedule for page updating and revisions
•    contact information for questions or problems about the site

3.    Building and library rules. Individual buildings and library media centers may choose to create rules for technology use that are more specific to their own programs. These rules, which are often driven by the availability of technology, should be created by a building-wide committee rather than a single individual. Such rules might cover:
•    the appropriate use of email, chat rooms, and recreational use of the Internet
•    the downloading and use of bandwidth intensive files such as those that carry sound and video
•    printing policies
•    length of time an individual student may use an Internetworked computer
•    use of privately owned and downloaded software (software installation policy) by both students and staff
•    where and how student created files are stored
•    whether and how student activities while using technology are monitored

4.    Plagiarism guidelines. Increasingly buildings are writing specific guidelines that address plagiarism. These guidelines clearly state in language appropriate to the age level of the student:
•    what plagiarism is
•    how to correctly identify sources, including text and graphics from both print and electronic sources, interviews, and ideas from a variety of sources including conversations, songs, television programs, computer programs, etc.
•    the ideas that do not need to be documented, including personal experience, generally accepted facts, and results from personally-conducted experiments
•    the penalties for submitting work that has been plagiarized
•    a warning of how plagiarism can be detected
Some schools have chosen to incorporate plagiarism guidelines into general “cheating” guidelines. An example of such a guideline is one created for the students Lakeview High School, Battle Creek, Michigan. (Lincoln, 2002)

What schools need to do to teach and encourage ethical behaviors
Schools must take a proactive approach to creating ethical technology users. Informing students and staff about ethical issues, discussing technology uses in light of ethical values, detecting technology misuse, and enforcing the appropriate use of technology resources are on-going tasks. No single approach to educating students about the proper use of technology can be relied on to create ethical users of information technologies.

1.    Staff development activities need to address ethical issues and develop an awareness and understanding of these issues in all adults who work with students. These activities can be specific inservices or integrated into general teacher technology classes. Library and technology departments can raise the awareness of ethical issues by sending short email “bulletins” to district staff listservs. (Johnson, D. A., 2002)

2.    Policies, guidelines and rules need to be readily available to staff, students and parents. Basic rules for technology use should be available as handouts in offices, media centers, and classrooms. They should be posted to the school’s website. Many buildings print them in staff and student handbooks. Each year technology rules should be explained and discussed during student orientation to the school and to the media center, during new staff orientation, in classes at the beginning of major research projects, and during parent open houses.

3.    All staff members should be encouraged to articulate personal values in situations where ethical decisions must be made and encourage the discussion of ethical issues as a part of classroom instruction. “Cases,” whether from news sources or from actual school events, can provide superb discussion starters and should be used when students are actually learning computer skills. Students need practice in creating meaningful analogies between the virtual world and the physical world. Frances Jacobson Harris (2001) from the University Laboratory High School Library in Urbana, Illinois, uses an electronic bulletin board to present ethical issues and allow students to comment on them.

4.    All staff members should model ethical behaviors of technology use. Students learn more from what we do than what we say. Verbalization of how we personally make decisions is a very powerful teaching tool.

5.    All staff members should reinforce ethical behaviors and react to non-ethical behaviors. Technology use behaviors should be treated no differently than other behaviors - good or bad - and the consequences of student behaviors should be the same. It is important not to overreact to incidences of technological misuse. (Johnson, D. A. 1997) Should a student bring inappropriate reading material to school, we do not ban reading for that child. Should a student access inappropriate material on the Internet, we should not ban the child’s use of the Internet.

6.    Students’ understandings of ethic concepts need to be assessed. Technology use privileges should not be given to students until they have demonstrated that they know and can apply ethical standards and school policies. Testing of appropriate use needs to be done prior to student gaining on-line privileges such as email accounts or Internet access. The teacher should keep evidence of testing on file in case there is a question of whether there has been instruction on appropriate use.

7.    Schools must work to create environments that help students avoid the temptation to misuse technology resources. Computer screens that are easily monitored, passwords not written down or easily guessed, and the habit of logging out of secure network systems all help remove the opportunities for technology misuse in a classroom. Schools that remotely monitor student computer use with special software should alert students of this ability. Students should not be left unattended where computer access is possible. Curricular purposes for technology use should be stressed. (Johnson, D.A., 2000a)

8.    Teachers and media specialists must begin to prevent plagiarism by designing good research projects. A great deal of effort goes into detecting plagiarism without always much thought into preventing it. Well-designed assignments that are personal, ask for higher level thinking, and require creative solutions to problems or answers to questions significantly decrease the ability and temptation to plagiarize the materials of others. (Johnson D. A., 1996)

9.    Use national and state library and technology organization student competencies that stress ethical use of information and technology. Both the International Society for Technology in Education’s (2002) and American Association of School Librarians’ (1998) student standards for technology and information literacy have ethical use components. These should be used as guides when writing local curricula.

10.    Schools have an obligation to educate parents about ethical technology use. Through school newsletters, talks at parent organization meetings, and through school orientation programs, the school staff needs to inform and enlist the aid of parents in teaching and enforcing good technology practices. Parents should be made aware of the American Association of School Librarian’s online course which has been written just for them. (Johnson, D.A., 2000b)

11.    Ethical instruction needs to be on going. A single lesson, a single unit, or a single curriculum strand will not suffice. All teachers, librarians, and staff members must integrate ethical instruction into every activity that uses technology.

Educators must plan deliberately if technology is to be safely, legally and ethically used in schools and if schools are to be effective in creating young citizens who are safe and ethical users. To not do so would be unethical.

American Association of School Librarians. (1998). Information power: building partnerships for learning. Chicago: American Library Association.
Center for Media Education, (2001). TeenSites.com. Retrieved March 11, 2002, from http://www.cme.org
Computer Ethics Institute. (1992). Ten commandments of computer ethics. Retrieved March 11, 2002, from http://www.brook.edu/its/cei/cei_hp.htm
Harris, F. (2001, November). Teaching Internet ethics to teens. Presentation made at the American Association of School Librarians conference, Indianapolis, IN.
International Society for Technology in Education. (2000). National educational technology standards for students—connecting curriculum and technology. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education.
Johnson, D. A. (1996, January). Copy, cut, plagiarize. Technology Connections, 2, 50. Retrieved March 11, 2002, from http:// www.doug-johnson.com/dougwri/cut.html
Johnson, D. A. (2000, September/October). Creating high temptation environments. Library Talk, 13, 64. Retrieved March 11, 2002, from http://www.doug-johnson.com/dougwri/tempt.html
Johnson, D. A. (1998, November/December) Developing an ethical compass for worlds of learning. MultiMedia Schools, 5, 42-47. Retrieved March 11, 2002, from http://www.infotoday.com/MMSchools/ nov98/johnson.htm
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