Code of Professional Ethics in Educational Technology.

Ethics Assignment via Google Docs

In this module, I was tasked with learning about the AECT Code of Ethics and its development through history. From the reading, I discovered that the code has developed over several generations, and  that its conception came about in a time when the technologies we have today would have seemed futuristic. I found it very interesting that the standards in the code by their very nature are required to be continuously in flux in an attempt to keep up with rapidly changing technology and shifting cultural ideas of ethics. To be honest, the standards covered ethical questions I had never considered before and I suspect many of my colleagues have not either. I feel much more confident going forward that I now have a resource in the AECT Code of Ethics that I can refer to when making ethical decisions in the workplace. Ethical decisions are made on a daily basis in my work, and it feels good to know I don’t have to completely rely on my own common sense.

After completing the reading, I was challenged with identifying a real-world ethical dilemma related to my work. There were a lot of different directions I could have taken, but the standard in the AECT Code of Ethics that stuck out to me was the one on discrimination (Standard 1.9). The reason this caught my attention was because of my personal experience with a classroom management tool called ClassDojo. My first impression of “Dojo” was that it was a fun approach to a typically serious task, classroom management. However, after further investigation I realized that ClassDojo was not necessarily ideal for use in classrooms, and that the education community was divided about whether it was ethical to use. My research paper highlights the ethical issues around the use of ClassDojo. Ultimately, I found that anyone intending to use this tool in the classroom should be aware of the potential discriminatory nature of the current setup.  The biggest problem with ClassDojo is that it assumes all the reason students misbehave in class is due to a lack of motivation, and that all students can be motivated using a single tool. However, this is not the case: certain students who lack behavioral skills will automatically be unfairly excluded by this system.

I learned a great deal about how to research a topic while working on this paper. I found that a great deal of the research on ClassDojo focused on its positive aspects and almost completely neglected any negative side effects from using the software with young learners. Several parent and teacher blogs pointed me to the writings of Professor Greene, who had written a book about misconceptions of child behavior and motivation. I ended up purchasing the book and I found it was the most useful resource I came across for my topic. The book “Lost at School: Why our kids with behavioral challenges are falling through the cracks and how we can help them” provided me with an argument for why ClassDojo misses the point about the underlying causes for poor classroom performance and misbehavior.

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