Technoethics in Schools

Technoethics in Schools

Darren Pullen (University of Tasmania, Australia)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-022-6.ch044
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School students are used to digital technology-they blog, create movies for public viewing on the web, create and download music and use instant messaging to communicate with their friends and family. Whilst today’s students are technologically capable, perhaps more so than their teachers and parents, they might not know how to legally and ethically interpret and use digital resources and materials. Teachers need to understand the social, ethical, legal and human issues that surround the use of digital technology in schools and then apply that understanding to help students become technologically responsible, and so to ensure that they, the workers of tomorrow, have the critical thinking and communication skills to match their technical skill.
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Most areas of modern life are affected by digital technology. This pervasive and rapidly developing technology gives us rapid and easy access to information, and presents new challenges to society’s values and ethics, challenges within our homes, schools and places of work. As the technology develops we need also to develop our laws, policies, personal skills and attitudes to foster its desirable aspects and mitigate its undesirable aspects.

In the field of education teachers must work with students towards the safe, legal and ethical use of digital resources and in particular of Internet based resources. The teacher and the school must ensure that students use digital resources legally and ethically. This chapter aims to highlight current practice and research as it pertains to educational technoethics, and along the way to stimulate thought on the topic of educational technoethics. This will be done by exploring selected examples of technoethics in the context of schools.

The study of ethical and social issues in relation to technology is clearly interdisciplinary in nature, involving research and practice from a variety of disciplines such as philosophy, theology, history, sociology, anthropology, psychology and education. This chapter will argue that to understand educational technoethics fully, and to use digital technology effectively and ethically, three related dimensions—the technical, the social and the ethical—must be considered. To understand the techno- and socioethical aspects of using technology, working definitions of education, technoethics and digital technology are needed.

In this chapter, education will refer to the teaching in the compulsory years of schooling—typically 5–18 years of age—while digital technology will refer to a wide range of computing and communication devices, from stand-alone computers through to ‘networked’ computers and communication devices. This definition encompasses personal computers, laptops, mobile digital devices such as Palm Pilots and smart phones through to networked devices that can be connected together or to the Internet or other networks. Within this book’s overall definition of technoethics (TE), for the purposes of this chapter TE refers to the ethical issues and outcomes associated with using digital technology in a school system.

As technology evolves we are finding more ways of applying it in our daily lives. For the purposes of this chapter the technology considered is digital technology, within which computers, the Internet and mobile communication devices will be of primary concern.

Weiser (1993) professes that the most profound technologies are those that disappear into our everyday operations, to the point of becoming universal as well as invisible. It may be this disappearance that makes some people act unethically. The whole notion of working and acting ethically with technology is questionable due to the notion of what is ethical and what is unethical. In its purest form ethics comes from an innate sense of how to behave and underpins our notion of equity. Equity in turn underpins our notion of fairness and justice.

An ethical dilemma or an unethical act occurs when individuals with different points of view consider issues parochially and make judgments based on their own points of view. A point of view is determined by individual characteristics such as race, gender, cultural group, religion, education, socio-economic status and age to name but a few. For technology, as for other issues, it is important to understand one’s own ethical viewpoint and it is just as important to consider other points of view. This is particularly so because digital technology, in particular Web technology, is global, and the political, cultural and educational levels of people using digital technology are extremely diverse.

Thus each individual has their own ethical point of view that is dependent on aspects such as their race, political persuasion, cultural identity and education. Of these aspects we will argue that it is education that has the greatest potential to inform and influence one’s ethical point of view. Educators traditionally have built on the values and beliefs that students are already forming when they come to school. The role of education is therefore to start from the student’s initial capabilities and beliefs, and to teach ethics firstly as it relates to the individual and then as it relates to higher societal levels.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cookies: A message given to a Web browser by a Web server. The browser stores the message in a text file. The message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. The main purpose of cookies is to identify users and possibly prepare customized Web pages for them. This information is packaged into a cookie and sent to your Web browser which stores it for later use. The next time you go to the same Web site, your browser will send the cookie to the Web server. The server can use this information to present you with custom Web pages. So, for example, instead of seeing just a generic welcome page you might see a welcome page with your name on it.

Digital Technology: The word “digital” comes from Latin - digitus , finger - and refers to one of the oldest tools for counting! When information is stored, transmitted or forwarded in digital format, it is converted into numbers - at the most basic machine-level as “zeroes and ones”. In the context of this chapter the term represents technology that relies on the use of microprocessors, hence computers and applications that are dependent on computers such as the Internet as well as other devices such as video cameras and mobile devices such as phones and personal-digital assistants (PDAs).

Copyleft: Is a general method for making a program or other work free, and requiring all modified and extended versions of the program to be free as well.

Internet Privileges: Are a set or rules or expectations that an organization enforces for the proper and safe use of computer and Internet resources that it is accountable for. Typically an internet use policy would cover acceptable and unacceptable behaviours and the consequences for unacceptable behaviours.

FOSS/FLOSS: FOSS is an acronym standing for Free and Open Source Software and as its component names suggest the software can be used for any purpose, redistributed or its source code modified. In the English language the term “Free” has many different connotations so many programmers, users and advocates of FOSS have termed the term FLOSS-Free/Libre Open Source Software-to refer to the “open” nature of the source code, which can be legally modified and distributed. FOSS or FLOSS should not be confused with “free software” as the products produced using FOSS/FLOSS source code can be offered either at no cost or a charge may apply.

Education: Education encompasses teaching and learning specific knowledge, skills, and also something less tangible: the imparting of ‘learning how to learn” or “the concept of life long learning” which is based on knowledge, sound judgement and wisdom. Education has as one of its fundamental goals the imparting of culture from generation to generation in addition to the skills and knowledge required to operate in society.

Intellectual Property (IP): Is the general name given to the laws covering patents, trade marks, copyright, designs, circuit layouts, and plant breeder’s rights. Intellectual property laws protect the property rights in creative and inventive endeavours and give creators and inventors certain exclusive economic rights, generally for a limited time, to deal with their creative works or inventions.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Rocci Luppicini, Rebecca Adell
Rocci Luppicini, Rebecca Adell
Chapter 1
Rocci Luppicini
Over the last 30 years, an amassing body of work has focused on ethical dimensions of technology in a variety of contexts impacting society. This... Sample PDF
The Emerging Field of Technoethics
Chapter 2
Marc J. de Vries
In this chapter it is argued that a multidisciplinary approach to technoethics is necessary to do justice to the complexity of technology.... Sample PDF
A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Technoethics
Chapter 3
Daniela Cerqui, Kevin Warwick
Common ethical issues related to technology are formulated in terms of impact. With an anthropological approach, every technological device is... Sample PDF
Technoethics: An Anthropological Approach
Chapter 4
Michael S. Billinger
Despite the fact that analyses of biological populations within species have become increasing sophisticated in recent years, the language used to... Sample PDF
A Technoethical Approach to the Race Problem in Anthropology
Chapter 5
Andy Miah
This chapter outlines a technoethics for sport by addressing the relationship between sport ethics and bioethics. The purpose of this chapter is to... Sample PDF
The Ethics of Human Enhancement in Sport
Chapter 6
Darryl Macer
This chapter examines some of the cultural variation in the ethical factors associated with the use of science and technology. The issues discussed... Sample PDF
Education of Ethics of Science and Technology Across Cultures
Chapter 7
Seppo Visala
Within the organisational development people’s arguments rise from their personal or group interests, which in turn are based on the systemic... Sample PDF
Planning, Interests, and Argumentation
Chapter 8
Alireza Bagheri
This chapter elaborates on some of the existing concerns and ethical issues that may arise when biomedical research protocols are proposed or funded... Sample PDF
Ethics Review on Externally- Sponsored Research in Developing Countries
Chapter 9
Gerrhard Fortwengel
At the beginning of this section the authors provide a definition of biomedical research and an interpretation of the meaning of ethics and social... Sample PDF
Social and Ethical Aspects of Biomedical Research
Chapter 10
Stefano Fait
In assessing the ethical implications of genomics and biotechnology, it is important to acknowledge that science, technology, and bioethics do not... Sample PDF
Ethical Aspects of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
Chapter 11
Timothy F. Murphy
Military researchers are working to exploit advances in nanoscale research for military uniforms, medical diagnosis and treatment, enhanced soldier... Sample PDF
Nanoscale Research, Ethics, and the Military
Chapter 12
Keith Bauer
This chapter reviews key debates about the meaning of telehealth and also considers how new and emerging systems in telehealth work to protect... Sample PDF
Healthcare Ethics in the Information Age
Chapter 13
Matthew Charlesworth, David Sewry
The development of cybernetics and digital computers prompted the need for a greater exploration of computer ethics. Information ethics, as... Sample PDF
Ethical Theories and Computer Ethics
Chapter 14
John P. Sullins
This chapter will argue that artificial agents created or synthesized by technologies such as artificial life (ALife), artificial intelligence (AI)... Sample PDF
Artificial Moral Agency in Technoethics
Chapter 15
Pilar Alejandra Cortés Pascual
‘What positive and negative aspects are perceived of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)?’ and ‘What dilemmas arise regarding these... Sample PDF
Ethical Controversy over Information and Communication Technology
Chapter 16
Martin Ryder
This chapter provides a brief summary of the technical and social hurdles that define the so-called ‘digital divide’ and it considers the celebrated... Sample PDF
The Cyborg and the Noble Savage: Ethics in the War on Information Poverty
Chapter 17
Mike Ribble
In todays changing global society, digital technology users need to be prepared to interact and work with users from around the world. Digital... Sample PDF
Becoming a Digital Citizen in a Technological World
Chapter 18
Deb Gearhart
Are we developing a (global) society where our youth think it is ok to copy and paste whatever they see on the Internet and turn it in for homework;... Sample PDF
Technoethics in Education for the Twenty-First Century
Chapter 19
May Thorseth
The purpose of this chapter is to discuss important ethical aspects of online communication of global scope. We focus particularly on procedural... Sample PDF
The Ethics of Global Communication Online
Chapter 20
Cameron Norman, Adrian Guta, Sarah Flicker
New information technologies are creating virtual spaces that allow youth to network and express themselves with unprecedented freedom and... Sample PDF
Engaging Youth in Health Promotion Using Multimedia Technologies: Reflecting on 10 Years of TeenNet Research Ethics and Practice
Chapter 21
Samantha Mei-che Pang
In Hong Kong, end-of-life practice ideally adheres to values that include respect for the patient’s selfdetermination and an understanding shared by... Sample PDF
Ethical Challenges of Engaging Chinese in End-of-Life Talk
Chapter 22
Busi Nkala
An estimated 39.5 million people are living with HIV worldwide. There were 4.3 million new infections in 2006 with 2.8 million (65%) of these... Sample PDF
Community Education in New HIV Prevention Technologies Research
Chapter 23
Makoto Nakada, Rafael Capurro
In this article we give an overview of the range and characteristics of intercultural information ethics (IIE) focusing on the public/private debate... Sample PDF
The Public / Private Debate: A Contribution to Intercultural Information Ethics
Chapter 24
Arsalan Butt
Consumer software piracy is widespread in many parts of the world. P2P based websites have made it easier to access pirated software, which has... Sample PDF
Ethical, Cultural and Socio- Economic Factors of Software Piracy Determinants in a Developing Country: Comparative Analysis of Pakistani and Canadian University Students
Chapter 25
A. Anderson, S. Allan, A. Petersen, C. Wilkinson
Recent evidence on genetically modified crops, cloning and stem cell research suggests that the news media play a significant role in shaping wider... Sample PDF
Nanoethics: The Role of News Media in Shaping Debate
Chapter 26
Russell W. Robbins, Kenneth R. Fleischmann, William A. Wallace
This chapter explains and integrates new approaches to teaching computing and information ethics (CIE) and researching CIE education. We first... Sample PDF
Computing and Information Ethics Education Research
Chapter 27
Jennifer Candor
The allocation of resources for assistive technology does not have to result in a gap between general and special education. This case study... Sample PDF
The Ethical Dilemma over Money in Special Education
Chapter 28
Pilar Alejandra Cortés Pascual
Educational orientation should be set within a specific socio-historical context, which is nowadays characterized by the Society of Information.... Sample PDF
Educational Technoethics Applied to Career Guidance
Chapter 29
A.K. Haghi
In this book chapter, the authors summarize their retrospections as an engineering educator for more than 20 years. Consideration is given to a... Sample PDF
The Scholarship of Teaching Engineering: Some Fundamental Issues
Chapter 30
Antoinette Rouvroy
The aim of the present chapter is to elucidate the paradoxical position of the individual legal subject in the context of human genetics. It first... Sample PDF
Which Rights for Which Subjects? Genetic Confidentiality and Privacy in the Post-Genomic Era
Chapter 31
Eduardo A. Rueda
This chapter focuses on showing legitimate ways for coping with uncertainties within the informed consent process of predictive genetic testing. It... Sample PDF
Predictive Genetic Testing,Uncertainty, and Informed Consent
Chapter 32
Soraj Hongladarom
The chapter argues that there is a way to justify privacy without relying on the metaphysical assumption of an independently existing self or... Sample PDF
Privacy, Contingency, Identity, and the Group
Chapter 33
Y. Ibrahim
This chapter situates the current debates on pornography in the virtual realm and its ethical and legal implications for users and researchers. It... Sample PDF
The Ethics of Gazing: The Politics of Online Pornography
Chapter 34
Neil C. Rowe
We examine the main ethical issues concerning deception in cyberspace. We first discuss the concept of deception and survey ethical theories... Sample PDF
The Ethics of Deception in Cyberspace
Chapter 35
Cyber Identity Theft  (pages 542-557)
Lynne D. Roberts
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) provide substantial benefits to governments, organizations and individuals through providing low... Sample PDF
Cyber Identity Theft
Chapter 36
A. Pablo Iannone
This chapter asks: What is information overload? At what levels of existence does it occur? Are there any features common to information overload at... Sample PDF
Walking the Information Overload Tightrope
Chapter 37
Cyber-Victimization  (pages 575-592)
Lynne D. Roberts
Information and communication technologies (ICTs); while providing a range of benefits to individuals, organisations and governments; also provide... Sample PDF
Chapter 38
Spyware  (pages 593-608)
Mathias Klang
It is well known that technology can be use as to effectively monitor the behavior of crows and individuals and in many cases this knowledge may b... Sample PDF
Chapter 39
D. Gareth Jones
The advent of in vitro fertilization (IVF) marked a watershed in the scientific understanding of the human embryo. This, in turn, led to a... Sample PDF
In Vitro Fertilization and the Embryonic Revolution
Chapter 40
Joyce Yi- Hui Lee
In this chapter we argue that even though conflict has been explored at an intra-organizational level, its effect and role at an... Sample PDF
Inter-Organizational Conflicts in Virtual Alliances
Chapter 41
Andreas Matthias
Creation of autonomously acting, learning artifacts has reached a point where humans cannot any more be justly held responsible for the actions of... Sample PDF
From Coder to Creator: Responsibility Issues in Intelligent Artifact Design
Chapter 42
J. José Cortez
Fundamental democratic principles and values that guide our social relationships have been important concerns in the evolution of this nation’s... Sample PDF
Historical Perspective of Technoethics in Education
Chapter 43
Heidi L. Schnackenberg
On the cutting edge of current technologies are portable media, where users can download information and take it with them to digest it anytime... Sample PDF
Podcasting and Vodcasting in Education and Training
Chapter 44
Technoethics in Schools  (pages 680-699)
Darren Pullen
School students are used to digital technology-they blog, create movies for public viewing on the web, create and download music and use instant... Sample PDF
Technoethics in Schools
Chapter 45
Charles R Crowell
This chapter discusses the ways in which moral psychology can inform information ethics. A “Four Component Model” of moral behavior is described... Sample PDF
Moral Psychology and Information Ethics: Psychological Distance and the Components of Moral Behavior in a Digital World
Chapter 46
José-Rodrigo Córdoba
Current developments in information systems (IS) evaluation emphasise stakeholder participation in order to ensure adequate and beneficial IS... Sample PDF
A Critical Systems View of Power-Ethics Interactions in Information Systems Evaluation
Chapter 47
Joan D. McMahon
If you were to survey course syllabi on your campus, you would probably find the standard syllabi to include: • Course title and number •... Sample PDF
Ethical Issues in Web-Based Learning
Chapter 48
Barbara Paterson
Computer ethicists foresee that as information and communication technology (ICT) increasingly pervades more and more aspects of life, ethical... Sample PDF
We Cannot Eat Data: The Need for Computer Ethics to Address the Cultural and Ecological Impacts of Computing
Chapter 49
Bernd Carsten Stahl, Simon Rogerson
The ever-changing face of ICT can render its deployment rather problematic in sensitive areas of applications, such as healthcare. The ethical... Sample PDF
Current and Future State of ICT Deployment and Utilization in Healthcare: An Analysis of Cross-Cultural Ethical Issues
Chapter 50
Sue Conger
With each new technology, new ethical issues emerge that threaten both individual and household privacy. This chapter investigates issues relating... Sample PDF
Emerging Technologies, Emerging Privacy Issues
Chapter 51
Robert N. Barger
This chapter discusses the ethics of a proof-of-concept demonstration of “parasitic computing.” A “parasite” computer attempts to solve a complex... Sample PDF
Ethics of "Parasitic Computing": Fair Use or Abuse of TCP/IP Over the Internet?
Chapter 52
Cecilia Andrews
“Counter-terrorism refers to the practices, tactics and strategies that governments, militaries and other groups adopt in order to fight terrorism.”... Sample PDF
Simulating Complexity-Based Ethics for Crucial Decision Making in Counter Terrorism
Chapter 53
Gundars Kaupins
This article summarizes the legal and ethical implications associated with employee location monitoring. It states that few international laws and... Sample PDF
Legal and Ethical Implications of Employee Location Monitoring
Chapter 54
Fjodor Ruzic
In today’s dynamic e-business environment where fast time to market is imperative, where information and telecommunications technology is costly and... Sample PDF
New Ethics for E-Business Offshore Outsourcing
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