Ethics in and through Technology
Order Description
Assignment Details:
Identify a current application for digital technology you believe has social, moral, and ethical implications for teachers and/or students based on your current role in education (e.g., grade level, content area, leadership role). If you are not currently working in an educational setting (broadly defined), please identify a context you are interested in using to frame your work. Technology is broadly defined to include anything from a piece of hardware (laptop, gaming console, tablet) to software, apps, and social media platforms.
Research this issue, identifying various perspectives on the positives and negatives of this topic. As you are researching, pay particular attention to educational implications for access, equity, social relationships, privacy laws/concerns, etc.
Create a short policy brief or parent informational document with practical recommendations for your target audience (e.g., students, parents, the school board, the administration of your school or district). This work must be based on the thoughtful use of research (not just opinion).
Citing at least three research-based sources, write a 4- to 5-page paper that does the following:
Briefly describe the issue you will discuss.
Explain the technology tool or application you have chosen. How do you see it related to ethical concerns for students and/or teachers?
Identify your chosen emphasis area for character development based on your reading from the course text (Seider, 2012).
Identify current research on the topic that looks at trends in this area (this might include statistics on use, frequency of negative behaviors, etc.).
Pay particular attention to social and moral issues that are raised as related to your chosen technology.
Develop a synthesis of recommendations for safe, ethical use of that particular technology application, while also supporting educational initiatives or aims of schooling.
Tie your recommendations back to the social, moral, and character development issues discussed in this course.
Consider whether you are advocating for a view of character that emphasizes moral, performance, or civic character (Seider, 2012). Ensure your perspective, as it relates to your technology issue, is evident.
Please consider your chosen audience when writing the paper. Imagine that you will use the paper to share the information with the audience in an engaging way, and write accordingly.
Ideas for this project include, but are not limited to, topics such as:
Facebook, Edmodo, Google+ in the classroom
Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine,, alternate forms of social media
Cyberbullying, Cyberbaiting
Smartphones, mobile technology in school
Student access to Internet outside of school to complete schoolwork
Google Apps for Education
Technology for testing
Filming in the classroom (by teachers)
Use of YouTube with/by students
Use of media clips and films in the classroom
Wearable technology
One-to-one technology initiatives
Flipped classrooms or flipped pedagogy
Digital footprints and data safety/student privacy, digital citizenship
Online learning in K-12 settings
Gamification (games-based learning)
Teacher blogging
Digital fabrication (3D printing)
Robotics (drones)
Support your statements with evidence from the Required Studies and your research. Cite and reference your sources in APA style.
Required Readings:
The following materials are Required Studies for this week. Complete these studies at the beginning of the week, and save these materials for future use.
Character Compass: How Powerful School Culture Can Point Students Toward Success (Seider, 2012)
There is no required reading in the text this week.
Character Education and Media Literacy – Finding Common Ground (Herrington & Emmans, 2002) [Webpage]
Guest Post by John Chase…Character Education: The Secret Benefits of Edtech and Media Literacy (Gutierrez, 2012) [Webpage]
The Impact of Technology on Character Education (Jolls, 2008) [PDF]
New Media Literacy Education: A Developmental Approach (Graber & Mendoza, 2012) [PDF]
Background Info:
Character through Media and Media Literacy
Media literacy is a critical skill that must be developed to support students as conscious consumers of the various messages coming at them through all sorts of technological platforms. Television, movies, and various social media outlets are becoming increasingly powerful as influences that impact children and youth today (Herrrington & Emmans, 2002).
Media literacy is “the ability to critically consume and create media” (Herrington & Emmans, 2002, para 4). As Kipping writes (1996), “Media literate people know how to act. They are not acted on. In that way, media literate people are better citizens” (para 8). Finding the bridge from the influences of various media sources to the critical and careful construction of one’s personal character is media literacy. Ensuring that our students have the support they need in navigating this technological territory is the work of teachers, schools, families, and society.
There are several avenues for building this understanding of influence and critical literacy. One is to require students to explore, deconstruct, and discuss the various issues presented to them through technological innovations. Discussing the influence of social media on the capacity of students to commit cyberbullying is just one common avenue for this work. The attention given to cyberbullying today is heightened because of the often invisible perpetration of such bullying. The capacity technology offers for “hiding” while engaging in negative character behaviors is one of technology’s more powerful features that challenge character development and enactment.
In other cases, technology is used as a tool to teach character development because of the skills and attitudes it requires from students. John Chase (in Gutierrez, 2012) describes the type of work he chooses to do when teaching with technology. The use of extended projects that use technology as both a source and a platform for presentation introduce opportunities for persistence, patience, collaboration, and integrity, among others (Gutierrez, 2012).
The character that develops as a result of interacting with the varied sources and influences of technology will be an outcome you want to consider as a part of students’ learning. Your assignment this week will allow you to explore these kinds of issues in an area of your interest.
Gutierrez, P. (2012, August 15). Guest post by John Chase…Character education: The secret benefit of edtech and media literacy [Blog]. Retrieved from
Herrington, S. D., & Emmans, C. C. (2002). Character education and media literacy: Finding common ground. Technos Quarterly, 11(2). Retrieved from
Kipping, P. (1996). Media literacy: An important strategy for building peace. Peace Magazine, Jan/Feb, 23. Retrieved from