Is there a need for cyberethics in the middle school curriculum

Thurairasa, Sharmini and Johnson, Richard 2003, Is there a need for cyberethics in the middle school curriculum, in Educational research, risks and dilemmas, Australian Association for Research in Education, Coldstream, Vic., pp. 1-7.

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Title Is there a need for cyberethics in the middle school curriculum
Author(s) Thurairasa, Sharmini
Johnson, Richard
Conference name NZARE AARE. Conference (2003: Auckland, N.Z.)
Conference location Auckland, N.Z.
Conference dates 29 Nov-3 Dec. 2003
Title of proceedings Educational research, risks and dilemmas
Editor(s) van Til, E.
Publication date 2003
Start page 1
End page 7
Publisher Australian Association for Research in Education
Place of publication Coldstream, Vic.
Summary This research in progress is a qualitative and quantitative case study that is exploring the need for the integration of cyberethics into the curriculum for the middle school years 6 through 8. The broader research question in the study investigates: ‘Is there a problem with how school students in the middle years use the Internet in and out of school?’ The study has been exploring the level of understanding the group of students have of ethical behaviour on the Internet. This research helps identify areas where an understanding of cyberethics will increase students’ current and future understanding in the use of the Internet and their interaction with other aspects of the Internet and its environment. If a student encounters unsafe behaviour on the Internet, the student will be able to behave and act appropriately. The research is also investigating teachers and parents perceptions of the evidence of problems associated with their students/children’s access to the Internet.

This area was chosen for research because of the significant impact computers have had in education in the last decade. Since the advent of personal computers and networking the Education Departments in many developed nations have taken the opportunity to promote the technology’s educational benefits. There have been several studies on the educational value of computers in schools and the research thus far describes some of the ethical changes that have emerged as a result of the technology as well as the benefits and shortcomings of the use of this technology within the Australian environment as compared to its usage in other Western nations, namely the U.S. and U.K.

Identifying the problems in the use of the Internet by middle school students is a part of this investigation and it will make recommendations with regard to the integration of cyberethics into the middle school curriculum. This approach will help prompt students, teachers and parents to re-examine their decision framework with regard to Internet usage and hence move them to reflect and consider the use of the technology ethically. Further the research is examining students’, parents’ and teachers’ need for the introduction of cyberethics into the curriculum. The case study is drawing data from individual surveys of parents, teachers and students. The questionnaires consist of relevant scenarios so that it may identify the general understanding and use of the Internet by students, teachers and parents.

During the study, any modification to the curriculum for the integration of cyberethics is to be identified and these findings should be of interest to the wider educational community in Australia and New Zealand. The questions raised in this research may affect teacher education and help demonstrate the importance of the parents’ role in their children’s Internet usage. The research will cover current issues of cyberethics and its effects on middle school students.
Notes New Zealand Association for Research in Education / Australian Association for Research in Education
ISSN 1176-4902
Language eng
Field of Research 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
Copyright notice ©2003, AARE
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