Erin Brown's ePortfolio

November 23, 2009

Module 7 Social, Ethical, Legal and Human Issues

After reading Digital Citizenship: Addressing Appropriate Technology Behavior by Ribble, Bailey, and Ross, I discovered three standout comments.  The article broke digital citizenship into nine areas or categories.  Then it discussed each area in detail, giving the reader both appropriate and inappropriate examples. 

It is important to “prepare students to be members of a digital society or digital citizens” (p7).  Nowadays, so many people turn a blind eye to digital citizenship.  Many law enforcement agencies have their hands tied.  It seems as if nothing is off-limits in cyberspace.  This makes it even more important for educators to prepare and even caution their students. 

“When students see adults using technologies inappropriately, they can assume it is the norm” (p7).  Just the other day I witnessed an adult with children in the backseat texting at a stoplight.  This is dangerous role-modeling behavior.  Many car collisions are the results of texting or cellphone use.  After listening to this week’s voicethreads, I asked my high school children if any teachers at their school ignored school policy when it came to cell phones and texting.  They both could cite me several examples.  They felt it was acceptable as long as that particular teacher didn’t demand their students follow this same school policy.  Am I the only one who thinks this is wrong?

U. S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was quoted as saying, “Education is the teaching of the overall citizenship, to learn to live together with fellow citizens, and above all to learn to obey the law” (p11).  I felt this was the most powerful statement of all.  We, as educators, get so caught up in our subject matter and the required assessments and grading that we sometimes forget the big picture.  We’re ultimately trying to mold the next generation of citizens.  It is, therefore, vital that we stress and model good social and ethical behavior at all times, and this includes when using digital technology. 


Ribble, M.S.; Bailey, G.D.; Ross, T.W. (2004). Digital citizenship: Addressing appropriate technology behavior.  Learning and Leading with Technology, 32(1), 6-12.

Ribble, M.S., & Bailey, G.D. (2005).  Digital Citizenship.  Retrieved November 22, 2009 from

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  1. Erin, I agree that it is important as educators to see the big picture. So much of what we teach students is through our actions rather than our lessons. When students see us using technology inappropriately or illegally, it is no wonder that students see this type of behavior as acceptable.

    Comment by Stephanie — November 24, 2009 @ 10:17 am |Reply

  2. I agree that it is very important for us to model appropriate use of technology. Texting in the car is a great example of using poor judgment with technology. This is such a hot topic right now. I think sometimes using technology inappropriately can be dangerous, such as texting while driving, and other times it just verges on being rude, such as talking on a cell phone while paying for groceries. Children follow our leads so it is up to us to demonstrate how to use technology in a considerate safe way. Otherwise bad habits may be passed down to the next generation.

    Comment by drokej — November 24, 2009 @ 4:49 pm |Reply

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