Ethical, Legal, and Responsible Computing

The emergence of digital computers and digital networks is changing what is means to be an ethical, legal and responsible user of computers. Most schools do include policy statements that teachers and administrators will use information technology in ethical, legal, and responsible manners. Remember also that in those cases where educators violate professional standards or the law, the educator can be found liable and the school has no legal obligation to provide protection.

Today’s educator who practices ELR computing will recognize that they have a responsibility to

> Protect systems– This includes keeping systems safe from both hardware and software vandalism as well as safe from theft and physical harm;

> Protect data– This includes taking steps to keep information safe from your purposeful and inadvertent damage or destruction;

> Protect intellectual property– This includes following software licensing agreements and not violating copyrights;

> Share common resources– This includes recognizing printers and similar devices are for everyone in a community and using those resources in a manner that ensures they are useful when you are done;

> Model responsible use– Our students will do as we do;

> Give all students experience using computers—It is my opinion that educators who use computer for “enrichment” or as a reward are guilty of malpractice. Those students who are disadvantaged are as deserving (perhaps more deserving of) of technology-rich education as advantaged students.