A Randolph County, North Carolina teacher commented on one of my recent ethics posts, and brings up an interesting and frustrating aspect of teaching the ethical use of information to our students. The educator writes…
As a middle school technology teacher who teaches ethics my biggest problem is when I tell a child that downloading or copying materials (songs, dvds) is wrong, they say my parents do it and they say it is ok. Although I read them articles where parents are fined, it doesn’t change their minds. What if there are groups in society that don’t acknowledge the validity of your ethics?
Quite frankly, I’m not sure how to respond to this. My initial reaction is that I believe that this will change, just like I believe that parents will become more savvy about their children’s use of computers and networks. However, that won’t happen by itself.
In my opinion, information ethics is not a technology issue. It isn’t even a library/media issue. It’s a literacy issue and should be taught in every grade and subject, by every teacher, every day. It’s basic!