In schools today, there are many more students than there were thirty years ago. With the growth of population in schools and students becoming smarter with technology, it’s very important for teachers to integrate and maintain ethics in the classroom. Today’s teachers have concerns with allowing students to get on the internet, putting their work online, and all the copyright laws. It is very wise for teachers to tell students and give them examples on how to use technology while in the class and stay consistent all year.
According to Kuzu, “Ineffectiveness of policies to guide individuals while using computers to serve for the greater good allows unique ethical problems to emerge. ” (Kuzu, 2009). A big problem that comes up for students is even letting them use computers in class because of internet security. Parents have a problem that their kid may get exposed to sites that are not appropriate for them. They need to see that the schools and teachers will have some kind of security or system set up that ensures them that their kid will not be easy pray for predators or exposed to any unfit site.
Here in my hometown our school system does not allow the teachers to enforce security. They have put into place a filtration system that automatically declines students to ant access to sites that are unfit to view. It also does this to the teachers. Each teacher has their own login name and password that allows them to get online. They do allow request to be made of a temporary override of the filter by the teachers though. Everything is monitored by the tech department they do not need to have permission to do this.
If for some reason or another a student would gain access, the teacher would be at fought. When students try to go to sites that they shouldn’t go to there’s an automatic pop up that has the word stop and the attempt is ended. Teachers should not at anytime allow their students to use a personal login. This needs to be demanded by the teacher. Although a lot of teachers are creating classroom websites, it is very difficult to ensure identity protection with the internet.
Teachers should post information that is important for the classroom, but create a way to communicate student progress with parents that is legal and secure. Another problem that has come up is how kids use technology agreements and the use of copyright material. Teachers need to view the limitations with the students that they have when they are using the school technology. It is a must that teachers talk with all students in the beginning about just what the steps are when they use technology in the class.
What they can and can not do as far as guidelines when using this technology. According to Akcay, “Teachers should teach students the possible harm of not following the ethical rules while using the internet, and guide them through their use of the internet at a level appropriate to their age. ” (Akcay, 2008). If teachers talk about their rules and guidelines when class first starts, they will save time later because everything will have been talked about at the start. If anything should happen, the students will know what’s going to happen to them for breaking the rules.
Teachers should come up with a technology contract that all parties should have to sign (Teachers, Students, and Parents). This will give everyone an idea of what will take place if these rules or guidelines are broke at anytime. This could be a different kind of contract depending on the grade of the student. Students that are in the high school should not even think about having the same expectations as a second grade child. Having ethical practices is a must in every school system. There are some things that should be used in all classrooms that will promote these ethical practices.
First of all, teachers should model appropriate ethics while using technology. Teachers should not share their personal communication sites, such as Facebook, with students. It may not be a law, but it would be good practice to enforce this. There is a line that should be drawn between students and teachers and those websites would place that line in a gray area. There are many other ways to develop a personal, but professional relationship with students. Another important practice is to ensure that all students being exposed to computers and are able to manipulate them.
Students with special needs sometimes need extra equipment in order to do this. In the local school system, there is an Assistive Technology Team that is located at a centralized school in the county. Any teacher that needs any kind of resources or equipment to help students with special needs can go to the team and check out materials from their lending library. Finally, teachers should put appropriate accreditation on their teaching materials to show students how to properly use materials without copyright infringement.
So often, students get to college and still do not understand how to document citations properly. If teachers use other people’s flipcharts, they should document it appropriately where the students are able to see this in action. According to the Education Digest, “Teaching someone to drive is dangerous, unless you also teach them the rules of the road. ” (Education Digest, 2009). Teachers remember to teach students the rules of proper documentation, but sometimes they need to see them put into place by the individual that is teaching them.
In conclusion, teachers have a big responsibility in their hands when it comes to allowing access to the internet in the classroom. Not only must they be able to integrate technology with lesson plans, but they also have to worry about internet security, copyright infringement, and appropriate modeling of the use of technology. With all of this said, no wonder some teachers object to the advancements of technology. But the most important thing to remember is that teachers must learn the rules and guidelines in order to teach them to the students so they can be successful in life