Issues in Technology

Legal, Social, and Ethical facts that parents need to know!

Legal Issues

Acceptable Use Policy: A school district’s outline for proper use regarding technology. This will be the most important resource available to you.

Possible Legal Issues:

• Copyright

• Fair Use

• Ethical Issues

• Cyberbullying

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a non-profit global platform for sharing using free legal tools but isn't an alternative to copyright, but instead works in conjunction with copyright; you define your own copyright terms for sharing, and has representatives in 85 countries throughout the world that contain more than 1.1 billion works!

Fair Use

Fair Use is a doctrine that allows the use of copyrighted works within the education community in a fair and responsible manner. There are four factors of fair use:

1. Purpose and character of use: The purpose should be only educational or non-profit

2. Nature of the copyrighted work: it is unpublished and factual

3. Amount of Work To Be Used: using a small amount of the work…not all of it.

4. Effect of the Use on the Market Value of the Material: Does not affect the profit making ability of the copyright holder.


Copyright refers to the protection afforded to the original producer of published and non-published works. Copyright laws protect a variety of works including music, movies, songs and architecture. Copyright laws do not protect ideas, facts, names, phrases, or official federal government documents.

Ethical Issues

The professional educator strives to create a learning environment that is a safe and comfortable environment for all students and responsibly accepts that every child has a right to an uninterrupted education (“Code of Ethics…” 1994). Furthermore, educators should act with conscientious effort to exemplify the highest ethical standards; a teacher needs to be fair, show empathy, model appropriate leadership, have self-discipline, and respect for dignity and worth of all individuals (Sweetland).

The ethical issues a professional educator needs to always keep in mind when in the classroom is (“Code of Ethics…” 1994):

o Ethical Conduct toward Students

o Ethical Conduct toward Practices and Performance

o Ethical Conduct toward Professional Colleagues

o Ethical Conduct toward Parents and Community

Statistics in Technology


Gender differences are constructed and may be reinforced in schooling through staff and pupils consistently associating or attributing certain behaviors and characteristics to one gender over the other and then acting accordingly (“The construction of…” 2009). Over the past 25 years, access to school has increased dramatically. The gender gap has narrowed. More girls than ever are in school, and they are staying in school longer (Bunting 2015). In most developing countries, women lag behind men in using the internet, mobile phones, and radios. Women are estimated to be just 25% or less of Internet users in Africa, 22% in Asia, 38% in Latin America, and 6% in the Middle East (Gill & Brooks 2010). A 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce found only one in seven engineers is female. Additionally, women have seen no employment growth in STEM jobs since 2000 (Huhman 2012).Women hold only 27 percent of all computer science jobs, and that number isn’t growing (Huhman 2012).


High schools that serve mostly Latino and African-American students don’t offer as many higher-level math and science classes, according to a study released in 2012 by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (Brettingen 2013). Black students represented 17 percent of the public school enrollment in 2000, but accounted for 34 percent of suspensions (Brettingen 2013). Between 2000 and 2010 the proportion of internet users who are black or Latino has nearly doubled—from 11% to 21%. At the same time, African-Americans remain somewhat less likely than whites to go online (Smith 2010). U.S. Census data indicates that while 76% of white households had Internet only 58 percent of Hispanic homes had Internet and 56% of African-American homes had it (Huskerson 2013).


A recent report by the NTIA showed 26% of respondents do not have Internet at home because they can’t afford it and 13 percent say they do not have a computer. On average, this group earned less than $25,000 annually (Huskerson 2013). In low-income families, a White child is three times as likely as an African American child to have Internet access and four times as likely as a Hispanic child (Green 2000). Data shows that the higher the percentage of poor and minority students in a school, the lower their access to technology. Of special concern is the fact that 90 percent of high poverty schools have Internet access, but only 39 percent of classrooms in these schools have access as compared to 74 percent of the classrooms in low poverty schools (Green 2000). A 2010 study confirmed that household income is the greatest predictor of Internet use, as the studies suggest, the problem isn't access, it’s the kind of access. Families, particularly minority families, are lacking in home broadband access.

Safety issues

The Internet is a fascinating way to connect with the world and a valuable information resource. But, as it continues to advance, there are also risks that come with using it. For example: Cyberbullying, exposure to inappropriate material, online predator, or revealing too much personal information.

Acceptable Use Policy

An Acceptable Use Policy, or an AUP, is a document which address all rights, privileges, responsibilities, and sanctions associated with the Internet. It is usually drawn up by teachers and management in consultation with parents, signed by students and their parents or guardians. Components addressed in an AUP include: searching, downloading, browsing websites,electronic communication such as email, social networking, messaging, etc., where to locate internet safety advice and guidelines, definition of inappropriate material, illegal and harmful use of the Internet, sanctions, copyright guidelines, online games, and use of email accounts.


"Cyberbullying” is when a child, preteen, or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed,

humiliated, embarrassed, or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen, or teen using the Internet, interactive, and digital technologies or mobile phones. An interesting statistic is, after surveying 15,000 students, one company reported that 25% of them had been cyberbullied at some point during their life.