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TF-VI Social, Ethical, Legal, and Human Issues

Posted by Hope Scott on Sunday, June 12, 2011 Under: Internship
Technology Facilitator Standard VI: Social, Ethical, Legal, and Human Issues
TF-VI   Social, Ethical, Legal, and Human Issues
Educational technology facilitators understand the social, ethical, legal, and human issues surrounding the use of technology in P-12 schools and assist teachers in applying the understanding in their practice.
Self ‚ÄďAssessment
Standard IV (Williamson and Redish, 2009) requires technologist to help schools and districts in the realm of social, ethical, legal, and human issues.  Gleanings gained from the reading:
 Race, gender, income, and locale should not cause digital inequities.  Schools continue to be an equalizer for disadvantaged students.  This is important to this generation of students.  Many of the students in our district do not have access to computers at home.  Therefore, they must complete assignments at school in the library or in one of the computer labs.  I have no problem allowing students to enter my lab to complete assignments.  They must have an AUP agreement; most who as me have one.  Any who visit unauthorized sites are not allowed to use my computers.  As technologist, this is a human issue to me; student success is our number one goal.
Online safety mostly centers around online profiles on social networking sites and safety.  My students are allowed to use two educational social sites, namely schoology and edmodo.  Both are secure sites that do not allow outside access to sites.  Both allow me to control who has an account.  Online profiles can be a problem.  I ask students not to use their last names on project to no avail.  Now that Web Mastering is open to 9th grade students I will have a problem.  My classes were usually made up of 11th and 12th grade students; these students are more mature and understand the risks involved in cyber-activities.  I do agree that schools have been reasonably successful in limiting student access to inappropriate web sites.  But, there are a few students who love to push the envelope by using proxies to by-pass this software. 
A lot of the information in this chapter was not new to be because I teach Web Mastering.  I must allow my students access to the web.  I also must adhere to the district's Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).  I have tried to limit access to students who do not return policy, but we start with the Internet during the first week.  This causes many to get behind.  Student already have an on-line presence because of MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook.  Unfortunately, they really do have to dummy down for school.  According to Magid (2010) in his Safe and Secure (para. 5) blog:
 But it also makes sense to think about ways to incorporate specialized social networking tools in class. The Flat Classroom Project is one example where educators have built social-networking sites (mostly using Ning) specifically for use in class and home assignments. Not only does this allow for educationally relevant communication for students in the classroom, but for them to interact with students in far away classrooms both in the U.S. and abroad so students around the world can reach and learn from each other.
I need to teach them to be safe on these and other social medias.  I have not had a problem with cyberbullying.  I know it can be a problem. 
I have learned that I will need to seek support to keep our campus and students safe while on the Internet.  My first line of support will be the librarian.  According to the Young Adult Library Services Association (2011, p. 3):
Schools and libraries are working to integrate positive uses of social media into their classrooms, programs, and services. By integrating social media into educational environments, teens have the opportunity to learn how to be safe and smart when participating in online social networks. They also learn valuable life skills, as these social technologies are tools for communication that are widely used in colleges and in the workplace.
This will further be accomplished through teacher education.  The more teachers know, the more they can share with their students.
Learn as a Learner
I have had to seek help for a student who was legally blind.  I did not know what to do to help him, and because he was not special education, they could not or would not guide me.  His therapist helped me get the assistance he needed to be successful.  He had to change classes because the work in my class required a lot of reading and typing.  It would eventually overwhelm him.  He was empowered, while in my class, to complete tasks independently through the use of aides on the computer.  I have helped others in my department use social sites for their students.  They love that they do not have to get bogged down with paper and pencil.  The sites, edmodo and schoology, allow student to submit work or take tests online. 
Lifelong Learning Skills
I will have to continue to learn copyright law to help teachers on campus understand it.  There is a lot to learn and it will require a major commitment on my part to stay up-to-date.  The librarian also plays an important role in helping teachers understand copyright law.  Also, so much has changed in the legislature regarding the Internet.  Career and Technology TEKS were changed this school year.  This will continue to affect what we teach.  I need to make sure I know current legislation and have an ear to know what is coming down the pike.  I also need to know what is acceptable so that teachers do not request what I cannot legally deliver. I will continue to share new technology with my peers.  I feel that anything that can empower our students is worth sharing.  I will continue to ask to present professional development, especially in relation to social media and copyright laws.  Some questions for further research include:
What is the proper way to set up a computer lab?
What assistive technology should all labs have in place to meet individual needs of students?

Magid, L. (2010). Social networking belongs in school. CNET News. Retrieved from http://news.cnet.com/8301-19518_3-10459983-238.html#ixzz1P4QB7nNa
Young Adult Library Services Association. (2011). Teens & social media in school & public libraries: A toolkit for librarians & library workers. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/profdev/sn_toolkit11.pdf

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About Me

Hope Scott I am a Web Technologies teacher. I created this blog as part of my Master of Education in Educational Technology Leadership for Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas.

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