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Ethics, Morals, and Legalities in Ed Tech

Privacy is a huge point of contention in education! Add in some technology, a variety of apps, and students’ lack of knowledge in digital citizenship and identity… and we really don’t even know what is going into the recipe. We scroll through the Terms and Agreements section of our phones, apps, etc. and just click “accept” and move on. What have we agreed to? How much are we being tracked? What do the Acceptable User Agreements / Media Release Forms cover for students and how can we ensure tech integration in the classroom aligns with those documents?

I have used many different apps in my classroom over the last few years and have never had any complaints from administration nor families as our division has a fairly strong umbrella that encapsultaes most apps we use. I know that the Public system does not actually accept Flipgrid in their system, but we are welcome to use it in RCSD. I love using the tool, but I wonder if the privacy settings are relaxed (I have mine at 100%) then can students’ media release privileges be jeopardized?

I always joke that “Big Brother is always watching” with technology. And cookies / data collection plays a huge role here. I like the algohrims for some purposes (like always seeing content that you enjoy and agree with) but others can be scary (always seeing content you enjoy and agree with). Go watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix and you will see what I mean here. The great divide keeps getting larger and larger the more we see content that we agree with, and the other side only sees content they agree with, and then BOOM. We are all simultaneously right and wrong all at once. We looked at privacy and copyright last semester in #ECI831 with Alec… here is an exerpt from my blog:

“Consuming content may be problematic here, but it is true. Even “original” content is still dubbed over with filters, voices, and prompts to get more viewers. The creators of TikTok have created a platform for cookies to be used to dictate what a follower will see and therefore the algorithm is truly in control of the content viewed. This is kind of cool, but also equally as scary. My dad loves the algorithm because he gets to see more and more golf and cooking tips (that is the cool part), the scary part is if you continue only viewing content about how climate change or Covid is a hoax, then you are never given an alternative point of view (that is the scary part).

It leads back to the Social Dilemma, where we only receive content that we want to see, however, we miss out on opposing views and ideologies when we only view and experience the narrative that best fits us. This is starkly different than the social media I began using in high school. Facebook was new and exciting and eventually even got Twitter as well. At the time, there was limited discussion about the impacts of social media and digital footprints, so it took me years to clean and tidy up posts, comments, shared or retweeted posts, and so on. Fortunately, I had never really said or posted anything that could be damaging to my career, but it became abundantly clear when I began approaching internship and career opportunities that a clean “Google Search” of myself was imperative.”

There are so many aspects of the internet that we need to consider, which really goes back to last weeks discussion about literacy. Simply reading and writing is no longer acceptable on the internet. Understanding, being critical, digging deeper, and going back to the old internet saying of “you can’t believe everything on the internet…” is so very important. As Gunpreesh noted in her blog, cyber bullying is also a systemic issue that students are forced to navigate, and without proper education in schools, who knows the long-term implications of these actions. And Christine has a great discussion about Copyright as a teacher on her blog!

Thanks for stopping by for my disorganized rambling! It is DEFINITELY the end of the semester!


10 thoughts on “Ethics, Morals, and Legalities in Ed Tech

  1. I am always so interested to see the differences between divisions and what is acceptable and what is not. It can sometimes baffle me that both divisions are in the same city, yet some things are deemed appropriate to one and not the other. How can this be? Why is one division shy or not wanting educators to use a certain tool? Is it a lack of understanding, learning, and knowledge, or is it something far deeper than that and really focused upon controlling what one can and cannot use? This topic always seems to get the ole hampster wheel a turning, as it really doesn’t seem to make sense to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have thought the same thing, Kelly! I know in my school division it took a really long time before teachers had access to Zoom at all whereas other divisions in Saskatchewan use Zoom exclusively. It doesn’t make sense to me either. I know a big privacy piece that is extensively discussed in my school division is the fact that Zoom is a third party provider so student information is housed in the states vs. Canada.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We were told not to use Zoom (even though it is easier) because we had access to a paid service (MS Teams) that fell under the umbrella of the division and privacy concerns. Such a little thing that we often don’t think about and/or take for granted.


    2. Very true!! And yet, in most cases, mine follows yours, yet we both have some areas that are stronger than the other, and some areas that could get caught up to each other. The one slippery slope here is the amalgamation of all school divisions to create more uniformity, and then we are all hooped (IMO).


  2. It has been so interesting to learn about the differences between some of the divisions on what they allow or restrict. I would love to learn more about their reasoning behind decisions, how often they review and/or make changes, and the steps and people involved in the decision-making process. In my college, we use what IT and our management have reviewed and provided for our LMS, virtual meeting platform, student contact platform, and other approved tech tools. As Dalton mentioned, I am very aware that Big Brother (lol) is watching. This was not explicitly told but realized when supervisors comment on what we are doing in individual courses on the LMS or discussing in the texting app with students.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such an interesting dynamic in the classroom… and all of the varied apps and programs from different divisions. I know that for our online learning courses, our teachers are provided with Moodle! I wish I had known that earlier and would have tried to get onto Moodle for ECI834 prototypes! Oh well… OneNote and Teams it is! Thanks for the comment Patricia!


  4. Dalton, I am also guilty of clicking accept without reading the actual terms. I agree that the algorithms have great benefits, but also drawbacks. I may have to re watch the Social Dilemma. That may just be a good mindful break as the end of this semester drags on (we are so close!).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Before taking this course, I never understood the importance of reading the privacy policies. I as well use to just click.. I accept.. without actually reading it… I know most of us did this.
    “The scary part is if you continue only viewing content about how climate change or Covid is a hoax, then you are never given an alternative point of view..”
    I faced this during the pandemic as I was so engaged in reading about COVID, all I could see were covid reports, its effects and everything on phone revolved around it… Several times I clicked that I am not interested but there was no going back. I still remember once I stopped opening that news or articles… it changed after 6-7months… But yes.. it is scary.. you want to be away from it but your phone doesn’t allow you to…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even apps ask you if they can track your content on their platforms. I always click no, but then they ask every day again and again. For most people, it will be easier to just click accept and be done with it. Thanks for the comment!


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