How Can I Teach My Students Cyber-Ethics?
Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics
1. Thou shalt not use a computer to harm other people.
2. Thou shalt not interfere with other people’s computer work.
3. Thou shalt not snoop around in other people’s files.
4. Thou shalt not use a computer to steal.
5. Thou shalt not use a computer to bear false witness.
6. Thou shalt not copy or use proprietary software for which you have not paid.
7. Thou shalt not use other people’s computer resources without authorization or proper compensation.
8. Thou shalt not appropriate other people’s intellectual output.
(Copyright: Computer Ethics Institute Author: Dr. Ramon C. Barquin)
Teachers need to know the signs to watch out if a student in their class is being cyber-bullied or is cyber-bullying others. Some of the warning signs that a child may be involved in cyber-bullying are:
- Noticeable increases or decreases in device use, including texting.
- A child exhibits emotional responses (laughter, anger, upset) to what is happening on their device.
- A child hides their screen or device when others are near, and avoids discussion about what they are doing on their device.
- Social media accounts are shut down or new ones appear.
- A child starts to avoid social situations, even those that were enjoyed in the past.
- A child becomes withdrawn or depressed, or loses interest in people and activities.
Create a Cyber-Ethics Culture in Your Classroom
Teaching good practices is much easier than eliminating bad ones. Here are some suggestions on how to create a cyber-ethics culture into your classroom:
- Draw parallels between the real world and the cyber world. Make direct comparisons between what students do on the Internet and how they behave in their real lives.
- Encourage students to participate in constructive activities. Ask them to develop ten acceptable use policy classroom rules.
- Create a list of consequences for violating any of the rules.
- Reinforce proper behavior. Treat offenses as mistakes rather than “crimes,” especially in the beginning.
- Assign students to work with technology buddies, other students who have already worked with technology and will set a good example. Kids who are working together are less likely to get off task.
- Make sure you model just appropriate behavior.
- Create a sense of responsibility and make clear the real costs of misusing technology. Students will live up to or down to your expectations.