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Teachers, Privacy, And The Ethical Use Of Digital Media

2887 words - 12 pages

Teachers, Privacy and the Ethical use of Digital Media

Digital Media and Teachers
- Ethical implications for teachers and their personal use of social media
- Is it ethical for teachers and students to be friends on social media sites?
Expected Privacy While Using Digital Media
- Privacy Breaches
- Ethical use of personal identifiable information

Digital media has greatly enhance the way that we share things in both our personal and business lives. It has enabled us to share things with our communities so fast and so easily that we to forget about the ramifications that could come of this technology if we ...view middle of the document...

James, 2009). In doing so we are saying that we should be asking ourselves a moral question before we proceed to post to social media, download a torrent, and even alter a photo while using digital media. Organizations thrive on making their products and service easier for consumers to obtain. In doing so we expose our personal information such as bank accounts and identities under the presumption that those we do business with are going to protect it both from outside sources and inside threats.
If we look to the journalistic view on ethics we can sum them up in two terms: errors of commission and errors of omission. Errors of commission are things journalists and media professionals or those using social media might do, but should not, such as accepting gifts from sources. (Pavlik,2012) Errors of omission are things journalists and other media professionals should do, but fail to do, like siting a source. (Pavlik, 2012). Because these are well defined everyone can come to the conclusion that it is not ethical if a journalist failed to site a source or took a bribe for a favourable story. We also can agree that if a journalist altered a photo to change the view that it originally represented that this too would be unethical. As we begin to use digital media more and more and it becomes increasingly easy to manipulate we expose more and more situations that need to have ethical standards established. We need to relate our digital media use to what we would do when we are not online. Only then will we understand that there are both things we should do and things we shouldn’t do when online.
For teachers, the ethical question of whether or not it is appropriate to “friend” a student on a social media network must be answered. Prior to social media, the only contact with students would be confined to a school event of some sort. Whether it be the actual school day or an after school activity, rarely did students and teachers interact outside of this environment. Now with the advent of Web 2.0 our social contact is changing and becoming more and more public. This poses an issue for teachers as their once before private lives are now becoming known. Social media has a place in our personal and professional lives. If we expose the two are we creating an ethical conundrum? Can certain professions eliminate the personal and professional separation?
Teachers are role models and often seen as representing the school. Just as in the military when you put the uniform on everyone thinks of you as the “military” and not an individual. If you did something that was unethical you would subject your service to the act not just yourself. Same for a teacher. If a teacher were to do something considered unethical the school would have to answer to it. Does this give the school the right to say you cannot have a different set of ethics in your personal profile that you do in your professional one? Many schools are dealing with this very issue as social media is...

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