Discussion of Legal and Ethical
ICT has given rise to a host of legal and ethical issues.
Preservice and inservice teachers need to know a reasonable
amount about these issues. Because of their positions as
teachers or potential teachers, they need to be above
International Society for Technology in Education
Oregon's Teachers Standards and Practices
Preservice and inservice teachers need to carefully
examine their own role modeling in areas such as:
- Stealing software. (This includes all aspects of
making and/or using illegal copies of software).
- Plagiarizing. It is exceedingly easy to do "cut and
paste" without referencing the source and without paying
attention to copyright laws.
- Making illegal or unethical use of ICT facilities.
- Damaging, destroying, stealing, and illegally using
ICT facilities and files that belong to others.
Because of their positions as teachers or potential
teachers, preservice and inservice teachers need to be above
reproach in the bulleted items listed above.
International Society for Technology in
The ISTE National Educational Technology Standards for
Teachers speak directly to this issue. The sixth of the
6. SOCIAL, ETHICAL, LEGAL, AND HUMAN ISSUES.
Teachers understand the social,ethical,legal,and human
issues surrounding the use of technology in PK-12 schools
and apply those principles in practice. Teachers:
- model and teach legal and ethical practice
related to technology use.
- apply technology resources to enable and empower
learner with diverse backgrounds, characteristics, and
- identify and use technology resources that affirm
- promote safe and healthy use of technology resources.
- facilitate equitable access to technology resources
Oregon's Teachers Standards and
Oregon's teachers must meet the requirements specified by
Standards and Practices Commission. The second of the
five general TSPC requirements for all teachers is:
2. CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT: Establish a classroom climate
conducive to learning: e.g., positive classroom management,
safe and developmentally appropriate environment, efficient
organization of time and materials, and effective
- Affirms dignity and worth of all students
and provides the positive support students need to be
- Communicates classroom rules and behavioral
expectations that provide a safe and orderly
environment for learning, and that are appropriate to
the level of development of students;
- When establishing classroom rules and procedures,
applies to all students principles of gender equity
and racial justice, and applies principles of least
restrictive environment for students with
- When establishing and maintaining classroom rules
and procedures, models appropriate social behavior and
provides meaningful reinforcement when it occurs;
- When establishing and maintaining classroom rules
and procedures, takes into account the influence of
the physical, social, and emotional climates of
students' homes and the community on motivation and
- Monitors student conduct, and takes appropriate
action when misbehavior occurs;
- Interacts thoughtfully and courteously with
students and parents and resolves conflicts in a
professional manner, respecting the cultural context
of the community;
- Uses classroom time effectively to provide maximum
time for learning;
- Manages instructional transitions decisively,
effectively, and without loss of instructional
- Arranges and sets up materials and equipment in
advance of class to facilitate their effective and
efficient use during lessons; and
- Coordinates the use of instructional assistants,
parent volunteers, student assistants, and other
support staff to achieve instructional objectives, if
these resources are available in the school
A number of the requirements listed above are of a legal
and ethical nature.
Nowadays, most schools and school districts have
"Acceptable Use Policies." These are usually designed just
for students, but may also be designed for teachers.
Students (or, students and their parents) must agree to
abide by these policies for student use of school ICT
facilities. Teachers play a major role in educating students
about the policies and implementing them.
There are a number of Oregon laws, rules, and regulations
that talk about legal and ethical use of ICT facilities.
here for brief summaries of some of them, along with Web
links. Here are two of the brief summaries:
Oregon Department of Administrative Services: 03-21
Policy and Standards (February 18, 1997) [Online].
Accessed 6/14/01: http://spr.das.state.or.us/policies/03-21aup.htm.
SUBJECT: Acceptable Use of State Electronic
ABSTRACT: Requires that all agency electronic
information systems be used for agency business with
Oregon University System: Acceptable Use Policy
[Online]. Accessed 6/14/01: http://www.ous.edu/its/ITSacceptuse.html.
Quoting from the Website:
OUS's computing resources and facilities are
intended for legitimate instructional, research,
administrative, public service, or approved contract
purposes. Use of OUS resources should be consistent with
the goals of facilitating and disseminating knowledge,
encouraging collaborative projects and resource sharing,
aiding technology transfer, fostering innovation and
building a broader infrastructure in support of education
and research. Individuals who disregard elements of this
policy may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action
Those using computer facilities and services must
respect the intellectual and access rights of others
locally, nationally, and internationally. Users are
expected to follow acceptable standards of ethics and
conduct in their use of computing resources. Responsible
user behavior includes consideration for other users, as
well as efficient use of the computing resources.