Technology Adoption for Teaching: The Ethical Considerations

Technology Adoption for Teaching: The Ethical Considerations

Airen Adetimirin (University of Ibadan, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0238-9.ch005
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Lecturers use technology for teaching to make learning more interactive and meet the different learning needs of students to promote their learning outcomes. The use of technology by lecturers will achieve the global trend of student-centered learning, where the course curriculum, pedagogy and type of technology should be focused on the needs of the students. To achieve meeting the needs of the students in a class, lecturers adopt technology such as interactive boards, learning management systems, videos, webcam to deliver their course content. However, the appropriate technology must be adopted for the topics in each course and used based on the rules and regulation referred to as ethics. Lecturers must use technology appropriately to avoid unethical acts such as copyright infringement and plagiarism in the retrieval of information resources from electronic sources such as the internet. Literature has revealed that lecturers are involved in unethical acts and need to be educated on ethical use of technology. This chapter examines the use of technology by lecturers for teaching, ethical behavior and recommended that regular ethical education should be provided to the lecturers through information literacy programs for them to become knowledgeable in the ethics of using technology and avoid unethical acts.
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Teaching globally is user centred and technology has been adopted by lecturers for teaching to meet the diverse learning abilities of students and make them lifelong learners. For students to become lifelong learners, lecturers must engage them in the classrooms, promote learning and satisfy their information which can be made feasible through the use of technology. Technology can also improve education, providing innovative ways for instructors to teach and creative ways for students to learn.

Technological tool like the Internet can provide access to simulations and virtual tours that allow educators to expose their students to places and resources otherwise unavailable to many classrooms (Evans, Martin & Poatsy, 2014). Course management software provides a rich online environment that includes tools like assignment submission, test/quiz taking, and discussion board forums. Computer laboratories enable instructor-led training and hands-on exercises for students. Smart boards can promote collaboration and enhance instruction, while handheld clickers and in class polling encourage student engagement (Bain & Przybyla, 2009).

O’Flaherty and Phillips (2015) concluded that technology is needed to enhance learning and the students expect to be taught using technology as they use technology for their daily activities especially those referred to as the millennials (born after 1980s). The authors concluded that technology in teaching will promote lifelong learning and prepare graduates for their future in their work places. Lecturers need technology to search for materials to prepare, update and deliver lectures to students. However, the type of technology used must be relevant and appropriate for the topic with utmost consideration for the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills possessed by the students. Some forms of technology adopted by lecturers include: videos, cameras, camcorder, computers and learning management systems (LMS).

Technology is being used in different countries by lecturers to enhance teaching through content delivery to increase the learning capabilities of students (Akinde & Adetimirin, 2017a; Ke, Sun & Yang, 2012). In USA, links to access and use web-based videos are provided to students to facilitate online education (Snelson, 2008). Almekhlafi and Almeqdadi (2010) investigated the use of video technology by teachers in the school classroom of the United Arab Emirates and the findings revealed that video technology is an important tool for teaching in the classroom. The use of technology by accounting lecturers in Australia is low in a study carried out on accounting lecturers using an interview and the findings revealed that 93% of the lecturers attributed this to their resistance to its adoption and use (Watty, McKay & Ngo, 2016)

In Nigeria, Akinde and Adetimirin (2017a) reported that technology is used by Library and Information Science lecturers in Nigerian universities, but the level is low. Use of technology for teaching and learning must be done appropriately by both lecturers and students, indicating that there is good and bad use of technology. The good use of technology involves abiding to rules and regulations guiding technology use. The wrong use of technology by lecturers may manifest in unethical acts like copyright infringement and plagiarism.

The wrong use of technology by students includes cheating, academic dishonesty, plagiarism and copyright violation. This wrong use of technology has negative consequences on the lecturers as they have to spend time verifying assignments or other task related documents submitted by students to determine if they adhered to ethics and if they violated the ethical use of technology, they are reported to the appropriate authority for punishment. This time spent on such activity reduces the time the lecturer would have used to search and retrieve relevant information sources for his or her course and plan the appropriate technology to use for content delivery (Bain, 2015).

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