Ethical issues often deal with what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad, and what rights and responsibilities people should have (Ask.com, 2014). The uses of social media is increasing, students are now digitally connected with one another and teachers nowadays are open to the concept of being their ‘friend’ online. Gradually over time, educational system and modules are going online, such as having excel or access classes, and even online modules. Below listed are the ethical issues raised by educational use of social media:
Dress appropriately in school uniforms when taking photo
You are having a class outing to the science centre and everyone is ecstatic, the only time when bringing a camera is allowed. So you decided to take a few photos with your good friends and upload it to Facebook. Well, you don’t purposely fold your skirt higher and redesign it to a mini skirt, with one side of your uniform tugged out and your hair all let down. It is a school event and students represent the school when they are in uniform, so when parents see such photos, the school’s discipline standards are being questioned and eventually ruin the reputation.
Using other social media during class
To prepare students for the modern technology world, we all have that one module that teaches us the fundamentals of Excel. Teachers cannot fully control what students are doing behind the screen during lessons. They might be on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or 9gag instead of focusing on Excel functions. Students will not be listening to the teacher as they are browsing the Internet and that is a form of disrespect.
Don’t not write hateful or negative comments about anyone online
It is not uncommon for teachers to be the victims online, being hated by students for being plain-boring or weird or annoying. Uploading photos or videos of teachers along with hateful descriptions is not healthy, and for most cases, the school will take actions on the student when they find out the issue. On the other hand, it is hurtful for parents to find out about teacher mocking at students’ essays, find it entertaining and posting it on the blog. It will not just ruin the school’s reputation but also the teacher’s reputation as being unethical, disrespectful and irresponsible. Teachers are supposed to assist and guide a student’s education and not making fun of their mistakes, treating it as an entertainment. This makes the parents question why did the school even hire the teacher at the very first place, or is there any actions taken place and how the school is going to solve the issue.
Yes, having technology means anyone can have the freedom of speech online but we must all be mindful of what we have mentioned.
If you think it is not right, don’t even post and share it on your social media, find a good friend and talk things out or simply let things go. All it takes is for someone to screenshot whatever you have posted and it will simply ruin your reputation. You could be expelled from school and it would be difficult to get into another school as you are being blacklisted in the Ministry of Education. Before posting anything online, it is best to think twice about the content that is written. Afterall, anyone can Google your name and everything is exposed, remember that!
Sandra Davie & Liaw Wy-Cin (2005). SINGAPORE: Schools act against students for ‘flaming’ teachers on blogs. UCLA Asia Institute. Available at: http://www.international.ucla.edu/asia/article/30494?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1 [Accessed December 5, 2014]
Esther Au Yong & Andrea Soh (2008). Teacher mocks ‘poor’ essays by pupils in blog. AsiaOne News. Available at: http://news.asiaone.com/News/Education/Story/A1Story20080218-50182.html [Accessed December 5, 2014]
Ask.com. (2014). What Are Ethical Issues?. Available: http://www.ask.com/world-view/ethical-issue-f1d5bd587b50cdbf [Accessed December 5, 2014]
Henderson, Auld & Johnson (2014). Ethics of Teaching with Social Media. Paper presented at the
Australian Computers in Education Conference 2014, Adelaide, SA. Available at: http://newmediaresearch.educ.monash.edu.au/lnmrg/sites/default/files/HendersonAuldJohnson_EthicalDilemmas_ACEC_2014.pdf [Accessed December 5, 2014]
Mark Childs, Steve Wheeler & Teresa MacKinnon (2014).Social media in education: ethical concerns. ALT Newsletter. Available at: https://newsletter.alt.ac.uk/2014/07/social-media-in-education-ethical-concerns/ [Accessed December 5, 2014]