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2 Tutorials that teach Cyber-Ethics
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Author: Gino Sangiuliano

In this lesson, you will be introduced to Dr. Pruitt-Mentle's framework for digital citizenship and learn about cyber-ethics.

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Cyber Ethics

Source: Globe, Clker,; Stick Figure, Pixabay,; Note Pin, Clker,; Scale of Justice, Clker,; Smartphone, Pixabay,

Video Transcription

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Hello everyone, and welcome to today's lesson. My name is Gino Sangiuliano and the topic we will be covering today is cyber-ethics. So let's get started.

As you can see, the framework contains three key components, cyber-safety, cyber-security, and cyber-ethics. Notice how the three overlap. This is very intentional. For example, you may learn how to minimize the risk of an email being compromised which would be cyber-safety, but it's also important to understand the reasons why hacking into someone's email is unethical. Just as we are guided by ethics in our personal relationships, cyber-ethics helps us be better digital citizens.

The definition of cyber-ethics is using appropriate ethical behavior and acknowledging rights and responsibilities related to online environments and digital media. And this is something that once students learn they can transfer it to out of school behavior as well, which is what we hope they do.

We have all heard stories of inappropriate cellphone use. For example, people having loud personal conversations while in line, not being ready to order when it's their turn, or seeing people text and drive which is actually illegal in many states under distracted driving laws, or cellphone use while in church. But the one I experienced that I couldn't believe was while interviewing a prospective employee. Their cellphone rang, and they answered it. Yes, this really happened.

When trying to teach cyber-ethics to students, it's important to first identify the areas in which they'll be put to the test. Students should understand the age appropriate ethical and legal standards as well as the rights and responsibilities around technology. In a school setting, this usually revolves around information.

For instance, are students accessing information legally and ethically? One example of this would be if information obtained from paid sites are acquired legally. Secondly, when using that information, is it represented accurately in a manner that the author intended it to be? Furthermore, is the information properly cited? Next, when collaborating with each other online, are students practicing ethical behavior? And finally, students need to always remember that when they are creating and presenting information that it truly represents their own work.

We just covered the behaviors for students that defined cyber-ethics in a digital world, but what skills do we need to teach in order to prepare them to use those skills? Well, we need them to follow acceptable use policies in all environments, understand the consequences if they do not follow those policies, model ethical and legal digital behaviors, avoid plagiarism by citing original texts and resources, demonstrate appropriate digital etiquette and responsibility when communicating digitally, recognize signs and effects of cyberbullying, and finally, distinguish between times and places that are and are not appropriate for use of digital media.

Let's go ahead and summarize what we did today. We introduced 3 C's framework which is comprised of three main components cyber-security, cyber-safety, and cyber-ethics. We focused on cyber-ethics and defined the term. We talked about what students need to do in order to act ethically when using digital media. And finally, we discussed what teachers need to do to get their students to that point.

Here's today's food for thought. Have you ever been in a situation where you witnessed someone using technology in a manner that was unethical or inappropriate? How did it make you feel? What did you do about it?

As you reflect on how this new information can be applied, you may want to explore the additional resources section that accompany this video presentation. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skills. Thanks again for watching. Have a great day.

Notes on "Cyber-Ethics"

(00:00-00:11) Intro

(00:12-00:36) 3 C’s Framework

(00:37-01:05) Definition of Cyber-Security

(01:06-01:35) Cell Phone Story

(01:36-02:38) Cyber-Ethics and the Student

(02:39-03:20) Teaching Cyber-Ethics

(03:21-03:53) Summary

(03:54-04:26) Food for Thought

Additional Resources

Internet Safety (resource list)

This web page offers an overview of resources for teachers to use when teaching cyber ethics and safety.


The Challenge of Teaching Ethics in Technology

This article from the University of Connecticut Digital Commons considers challenges faced in teaching cyber-ethics in today's technology rich classrooms. This article explores challenges and offers practical solutions for teaching cyber-ethics to students.