Ethics and Social Media

I will be the first one to admin that I am not the best at “practicing what I preach”. When I taught a photography class I was very aware of being a good role model when accessing or using photos as examples. I was intentional in my delivery and modeled ethical use of online and intellectual property. I think it is important, I also think it is becoming increasingly important. I feel as though I am on the cusp of a pre-digital citizenship generation and now must work to catch up to today’s standards.

A 1950’s era person being a socially accepted litterbug. This is may be a strange comparison, but as a “napster” generation I feel there are a lot of people in my demographic that didn’t get the best introduction to digital copy-write. Michala has a good point that this is important for teachers to consider at a time like this when many of us are moving into online learning platforms. I have had to talk some teachers off a few “piracy ledges” as we all panicked to get resources online and in students’ hands.

Telling teachers they had to leave the school, weren’t allowed to come back, but needed to launch their course online in a week…was… perhaps conceived by people that haven’t worked with elementary school teachers. All the teachers heard was”take all my stuff home by any means necessary”. It was comparable to watching people stock up on toilet paper. They will call this the great copywrite break of 2020. One teacher was part way through scanning a book in its entirety, and it did cross my mind to turn a blind eye… but I felt it necessary to assure them we could explore other options. It is important to be the voice of reason in these uncertain times and help educate students and teachers about the importance of being an ethical digital citizen.

The fairdealing decision tool that Curtis shared is a great resource and I look forward to using it more. Something I have already passed on to my colleagues! I think it is important to try to better understand copy-write and enjoy these talks as I learn something new every time the issue arrises.

Published by bradraes7578

Vice Principal at Prince Arthur in Moose Jaw, Sk.

9 thoughts on “Ethics and Social Media

  1. Hello Brad,
    Thanks for the post. I can definitely relate to your teachers panicking about what to take home and do online. In a panic and heightened state the last thing that comes to mind is copy-write and all that we discussed in class. The first time I thought of all that was in our class on Tuesday. This past week after our class our board started rolling out all the do’s and don’ts and approved technology. I’m glad we had those conversations before and am so thankful for this class!
    Great post!


  2. I don’t want to make it seem as though teachers are evil or lazy… I think many people are only trying to do what is in their students best interest. Copywrite law takes a backseat in many cases because it creates (at times) an unrealistic reality for many educators who cannot pay for copies for all students.


  3. Great post Brad! You make some great points about teachers being the worst copyright frauds. “It’s only a photo of it” or “I just need these two chapters photocopied” and it quickly escalated from there, especially with the recent pandemic. I know teachers panicked when students couldn’t access information online and I know I’m the same. Maybe I’ll just take pictures and send them the pages of their textbooks? Or find a “free” version of something that isn’t totally legal. However, I know it is wrong and so the search ensues for legal supplies. It can be frustrating but it is also showcasing that digital responsibility piece we need to be teaching students effectively. I think now is the greatest opportunity for teachers to be demonstrating to their students how to navigate the online world appropriately, legally, and responsibly.


  4. Brad, thanks for the great read!

    “I feel there are a lot of people in my demographic that didn’t get the best introduction to digital copy-write.” – I can definitely relate to this as I come from the generation of Limewire, burning CD’s, and downloading movies through torrents. Looking back, it’s funny how normal that was for so many people and yet we were never taught about the implications or laws regarding these behaviors.

    I can agree that it’s hard to practice what we preach in the classroom. I’ve really tried to improve my practices in the classroom, such as using Pixabay or Creative Commons when using an image for a PowerPoint. I’d say the majority of the students I teach (Grade 5/6) do not have any understanding of copyright law. I’ve been working on teaching my students about these topics as they are using so much technology in the classroom and at home.


  5. Thanks for the good read again Brad. I also share many of your sentiments related to copyright material. I often struggle with the idea or respecting copyright law considering the energy involved in finding other ways do what we need. Over the past few years, I’ve become a huge proponent of the Open Educations Ressources movement and I really think that’s the way to go. The are so many excellent open ressources in english that one doesn’t have many excuses to break copyrights. In french education, the variety of ressources that is applicable and useable in my context is quite sparse. Thus sometimes, many teachers find it’s just way easier to take the risk rather than do the right thing. It’s a constant struggle but morality and good practice should always prevail. Thanks Brad.


  6. Oh Brad, I really enjoyed reading your blog post. Learning about moral, ethical and legal issues is like a wake up call for me. I definitely did not know many things I shouldn’t be doing. So, taking one step at a time, I am reconsidering and reevaluating my actions on a daily basis to be a good role model. I think students need to be taught how to be responsible and ethical learners by addressing these issues and showing them “the right” way.



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