Thursday, February 14, 2013

Safe, legal and ethical use of digital information

We all have differing experience levels with the use of technology, and we all have different ideas of how technology can and should be used responsibly. Considering ethical usages of technology is paramount in schools. Teachers need to inform students of the implications involved in being open to the world via the internet.

The internet is vast. It could be said that all of man's accumulated knowledge is there and ready to be accessed. Given this though it is very important for teachers and parents to know what information their student's are accessing and how it may influence their development.

Student's often utilize technology as a means to communicate and share their experiences. Given the separation of one to one human interaction, the computer can be a shield between the individual producing a communication and the recipient. Due to this dissonance trends such as cyber bullying and "trolling" have become quite popular. These unethical uses of technology often affect individuals in profound was that may be unknown by those who produce such communications. Teachers must inform students on the impact their remarks may have on others while communicating through technology.

One of the simplest ways to abuse technology is to use it commit crimes. Torrenting/pirating data has become very popular and is vary illegal. Students face huge fines and possible jail time every time they illegally download a file. Although this is an easy way to attain pretty much any type of digital information you can think of, the consequences always outweigh the benefits.

With all of man's accumulated knowledge at their fingertips, it is very tempting for students to use technology to cheat. There are hundreds of resources available to pretty much everyone that enable cheating. Some sites offer already written essays, others offer answers to specific test and quizes. With this resource available teachers must mount a defensive. Unfortunately teachers are often forced to use software that can detect plagiarism. Informing students that such counter measures are present may prevent them from cheating and spare them the embarrassment of facing failure due to their breach of academic integrity.

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