Saturday, January 27, 2007

My Response to the Ethics Question

In response to David Warlick's post Ethics Challenges & Information I have two areas that cause me the most concern as I think about the question:

“What is your greatest challenge in teaching appropriate, ethical use of web-based media to your students?”

1. Determining information reliability - Teaching kids to weed through information sources to determine context, perspective, bias, and/or motive is one of the most challenging things for me as a teacher. Look for the author. When was the site updated? How do you know it is true? Is it an opinion or a fact? Leading kids down to road to begin thinking critically about the information is a 'lesson within a lesson' every day.

2. Intellectual property rights - Teaching kids that things on the web did not just "appear," that someone put them there and many times designed and produced the materials themselves is a constant part of my day. Part of my j0b in reinforcing ethics and responsibility is teaching them to recognize the need to acknowledge authorship of intellectual property. It's so hard to move a step beyond "it's there so I will use it" to "it's there but can I use it?"

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