Technology in
Education: Ethical Issues

The world has been changing at a very fast
rate in the past few decades and the learning process has followed suit as
well. In making the best out of the current system, it is clear that the
presence of computers has become an important part of learning despite some
having varied reactions towards the new protocols. Ethical issues have come up
in various forums and understanding the pros and cons of using computers in
school provides the right information necessary to build on the assistive measures.
Furthermore, it is important to look at the learning opportunities and the
outcome of each lesson to compare the effectiveness and success of learning.
Deliberating on the future of computers in classrooms is an essential
discussion needed to assist in shaping education goals and encouraging efficacy
in teaching.

of Computers in Classrooms

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One thing that people have come to
appreciate is the fact that computers force teachers to understand students
even more and tailor their teachings to meet their learning needs. Since
computers are automated, teachers must learn the best structures to use when
preparing their teaching lessons (Cobb, 2010). Elementary school children have
specific education needs that cannot be compared to those in high school or
college. Elementary schools are the foundation of all learning taking place and
create a specific understanding of the support needed to improve on the adequacy
of each plan in question (Cobb, 2010).

Computers nurture great talents by
providing empowering tools that revolve around relevant information processes and
help re-evaluate what is already known against the projected knowledge
management process (Ciampa, 2012). The that they can serve as tutors means that
both teachers and students can participate in learning and ensure that everyone
is on board. For students who miss the classes, they can have a replay of the
videos, hence, not fall behind the rest (Cobb, 2010). The process allows for
repeat lessons without changing the meaning or wordings of the lesson, an
element that creates consistency in learning.

In the same manner, computers can help
create peer-to-peer learning. Virtual learning groups are easier to create in
modern classrooms because they can easily detail the changes and choices people
have in regard to the value that comes from connecting students from different
parts of the world (Ciampa, 2012). The internet can develop such links, and
students will gain from the experiences of others and also become aware of the
impact diversity has in the society as a whole (Ciampa, 2012). In case some students
feel shy participating in the classroom, such virtual groups can be a good
platform to help them excel, and learn new skills that could be beneficial to
them outside the classroom (Ertmer & Ottenbriet-Leftwich, 2010). Quick
learners can also be mixed with the moderate and slow learners in an attempt to
train them to share their skills and knowledge with others.

Elementary school students increase their
ability to learn new vocabularies using computers. The fact that they are
actively involved in using word processing software makes it easier to learn
new things and even improve their writing skills (Cobb, 2010). Such
proficiencies are improved by the use of spell checkers installed in the
software. They can easily write grammatically correct sentences and improve
their understanding of punctuation and the need for paragraphs.

Visual illustrations are another important
reason for using computers across the learning institutions. If the students
can all access monitors, it will be easier to project the images and learning
becomes more person-centered (Ciampa, 2012). Most children are able to learn
well with diagrams and such visual illustrations play a vital role in learning.
Furthermore, it generates the kind of attention students need to remain
actively involved in learning (Gibson, 2009). The internet can also help in
providing more options to assist in building specific learning priorities.

Learning is made more exciting and the integration
of new materials becomes an essential learning point. Diversity and increased
exposure to different opinions provides students with a realistic evaluation of
their world. Furthermore, it presents the required resources needed to learn
about different materials without losing interest (Cobb, 2010). Accessing new
sites can also be an exciting venture and providing the right research tools
can help make them more creative in what they do.

of Computers in Classrooms

If not well managed, computers can be a
source of increased distractions across the classroom. If students are allowed
to carry their personal computers, it could interfere with what they are doing
in class because they can easily get distracted (Ciampa, 2012). They can watch
funny videos, browse other irrelevant sites, engage in chats across social
media platforms, or listen to music (Gibson, 2009). This negates the impact of
the machine in the classroom and makes it difficult to ascertain its benefits.

Students no longer value the process of
writing. The use of computers makes it easier to check synonyms and autocorrect
words, whether wrong or right, but cannot assure the child is learning the
basics (Ertmer & Ottenbriet-Leftwich, 2010). Classic teaching methods do a
better job at this by allowing many students to engage in varied situations
that exist when training students how to write neatly using a pen and paper
(Gibson, 2009). Pronunciation is also not taught and punctuation may be a hard
factor when using a computer without prior knowledge.

Students are not taught creative and
critical thinking because computers already have the internet and search
engines provide the answers required. It becomes a major issue of concern
because students cannot perform basic calculations without having to use the
calculator (Cobb, 2010). Everything is now linked to the internet and without
it students cannot think of anything else to do.


The ethics of using computers in the
classroom are based mainly on the utility during and after class hours. Many
have fallen victims of cyber-bullying and increased the chances of fairing
worse in education. Teachers too can fall victims of the same when they become
compromised and their machines attacked by hackers (Ertmer &
Ottenbriet-Leftwich, 2010). Information regarding exams, for instance, can be
stolen and used illegally within the same school. Privacy becomes an issue of
concern especially when it comes to examinations, and that ought to be
considered (Gibson, 2009). Cheating is another important discussion issue
because people are now exposed to the internet and can use it for their
individual needs.

With continued evolution of technology,
any teacher lagging behind can be a victim of unethical behaviors without even
realizing it. Students with malicious intent can even corrupt files just to get
a day off school or force learning to take a different direction (Ertmer &
Ottenbriet-Leftwich, 2010). Teachers are forced to remain cautious, and that
may negate the impact computers are expected to have within the learning

The lack of creativity amongst students is
an issue of concern as well. It is unethical for any learning institution to
purport to practice training students whereas they are not ready to fit into
the world. They will think that everything is computer oriented, an element
that will make it difficult to associate with such issues when seeking to
provide the attention required (Gibson, 2009). Furthermore, it presents new
dilemma in the job market because the lack of computers in a workplace may render
many jobless because they have not been taught how to operate without them (Gibson,

Overall, computers are a vital addition to
the classroom. Nonetheless, despite having pros outweighing the cons, it is
important to pair technology with increased use of classical teaching methods
to supplement and complement where the computer may seem deficient. Such a
working procedure will help realize many goals.



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tool for beginning readers. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology,
38, 1-26.

A. (2010). To differentiate learning or not to differentiate? Using
internet-based technology in the classroom. Quarterly Review of Distance
Education, 11, 37-45.

P. A., & Ottenbriet-Leftwich, A. T. (2010). Teacher technology change: How knowledge,
confidence, beliefs, and culture intersect. Journal of Research on Technology
in Education, 42, 255-284.

D. (2009). Digital simulations for
improving education: Learning through artificial teaching environments. New
York: IGI Global.


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