304 Major Project

Mahler Group

Nelda Baker    Leonard Fretzin
Pat McNerney    Bea Nichols




This project was completed as an assignment for the EPS 304 course as part of the
CTER Masters degree program at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign.
The Course Instructor is Nicholas C. Burbules


Technology is becoming infused in life and the functionality technologies bring to home, school, and office environments are now often taken for granted. Proper operation, support, understanding, and integrity of technologies are regarded as being important and sometimes suspect. Recognizing the effect technology has on education, the workplace and our quality of life, educators acknowledge the need for a clearly stated code of ethics. The educator further recognizes the magnitude of the responsibility inherent in integrating technologies into the educational process. Essential to these goals is the guarantee of equal technology access for educational opportunities for all in order to improve the understanding of technology, its appropriate application, and potential consequences.

This Code of Ethics is a working document that will evolve as technologies evolve and a need for editing of principles and/or guidelines becomes apparent. The Code consists of six (6) principles of personal responsibility, as well as a guide to Compliance and Professional Responsibilities.

             I. Contribute to society and human well-being

          II. Avoid harm to others

          III. Be honest and trustworthy

          IV. Be fair and take action not to discriminate

          V. Honor property rights

          VI. Respect confidentiality and privacy


          Professional Responsibility

Each of the six principles is supported by a rationale and includes guidelines for issues professionals are likely to encounter. The guidelines provide directions to assist professionals in dealing with issues they may face within each principle contained in this Code. Professionals must be aware that there will be issues faced, fitting into one or more of the six principles, which guidelines have not been developed for. For this reason, the guidelines included are not all inclusive.

This Code of Ethics, with the six principles, rationale, and guidelines, has been formulated to serve as a basis for ethical decision-making in the utilization of technology by the educational professional. In addition, the Code may provide support for evaluating the merits of new technologies, formal complaints pertaining to violation of professional ethical standards, and provide for ethical guidelines in implementing technology in an educational setting and implementation of this Code.

Within a Code of Ethics, some words and phrases may be subjected to varying interpretations. The principles, rationale, or guidelines may conflict with other ethical principles in specific circumstances and in some instances where questions arise, answers can be developed through thoughtful consideration of fundamental principles or assistance in answering may be sought through an appropriate review board governing this Code of Ethics. Educational professionals may choose to not rely on detailed regulations when these special circumstances arise.

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Code of Ethics: set of codified guidelines for ethical directions which act as standards to enhance professionalism and image of the professional and which can establish a baseline for addressing more complex issues. The code is not a set of enforceable laws.

Computing facility: refers to forms of computer-related equipment, tools and intellectual property, including computer systems, personal computers and computer networks, as well as all forms of software and applications.

Objectionable information: violent, hateful, pornographic, lewd, or obscene drawings, pictures, graphics, or text.

Educational Setting: Any location where learning is taking place in a formalized setting.

Flaming: practice of transmitting rude, lewd, or insulting remarks via e-mail.

Plagiarism: copying the work, ideas, or writing of other people without quoting them, crediting them, or referencing them as the source of the information.

Property: includes things we cannot physically hold, such as electronic information, like data, files, and software programs, which existing as electronic code on a computer memory medium such as a hard drive, CD, or floppy disc.

Technologies: hardware, software, technical advances in industry, information-processing machines

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I. Contribute to society and human well being

  1. Work to extend public knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of information processing and its consequences.
  2. Develop partnerships with external organizations and the community.
  3. Teach students to be critical thinkers about information they read.
  4. Assist students in developing life-long learning habits and expertise utilizing technologies.
  5. Help students develop technology skills, through meaningful experiences, that will be applicable in the world outside of education settings.
  6. Utilize technology to support positive growth of human educational processes and instruction, and provide built-in evaluative means that protect internal human ecological aspects of the community that all technology effects

Rationale of Section I


II. Avoid intentional harm to others

  1. Technologies should be used for purposes that are not harmful to others.
  2. Do not use technology equipment to intimidate, insult, embarrass, or harass others.
  3. Avoid injury to students and colleagues, their property, reputation, grades, class standing, or employment by false or malicious action through the utilization of technologies.
  4. Do not cause intentional damage to technologies through excessive loads of information, computer viruses, Trojan horses, worms, or vandalism.
  5. Maintain working condition of technologies.
  6. Maintain a technology environment that reduces the risk of technology related ergonomic injuries, stress, unplanned diversions, unreliability, and problems due to system safety and security.
  7. Implement technological tasks for students that you are qualified for by training, experience, and prior review of use.
  8. Use reasonable care that students do not have access to objectionable information that is illegal, defamatory, inaccurate, or potentially offensive.

Rationale of Section II

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 III. Be honest and trustworthy

  1. Honor a parentís or guardianís written decision to deny their studentís access to and use of the Internet and/ or educational technologies.
  2. Inform students and parents that some material accessible via technology may contain items that are illegal, defamatory, inaccurate, or potentially offensive to some people.
  3. School technology resources should not be used for personal use or profit, product advertisement or political lobbying.
  4. Do not conceal or help to conceal or "cover up" violations by anyone. You are encouraged to report any violation of these guidelines by another individual and any information relating to a flaw in the computing facility security or operation to the Technology Coordinator.
  5. Keep parents and guardians informed of technologies available and utilized within the educational setting. All policies referencing technology will be communicated to community members.
  6. Guide, accept, and assess honest criticism of technical work, acknowledge and correct errors, and credit properly the contributions of all students and colleagues.

Rationale of Section III


IV.  Be fair and take action not to discriminate

  1. Treat all students and colleagues fairly regardless of race, color, creed, gender, marital status, political or religious belief, disability, age, national origin, family, social or cultural background, or sexual orientation.
  2. Make adaptive technologies available to students and colleagues to overcome handicaps and learning disabilities when reasonable and appropriate.
  3. Students and colleagues should have equal access to technologies unless denied by rules contained within a school acceptable use policy or adopted board policy.
  4. Encourage students in their independent pursuit of technology to abide by the school acceptable use policy or adopted board policy.

Rationale of Section IV


V.  Honor property rights


1.      Do not, copy, alter, examine, or destroy anyone else's personal files without explicit permission from the appropriate authority. Specifically, the practice of 'hacking' into a computer system in order to see restricted files is forbidden.

2.      Students are to be instructed in the meaning of plagiarism, and the proper and accepted method of quoting an author by crediting the source of the material. It is the educatorís responsibility to instruct students on the proper usage of publications, proprietary, or confidential information. 

3.      Respect and enforce intellectual property rights as they pertain to technologies, which include copyrighted material, software, CDs, and other copyrighted files such as MP3's. You may not give, lend, or sell copies of software to others unless written permission of the copyright owner is clearly identified. 

4.      Observe the fair use doctrine within the AUP, and do not steal, misappropriate, or misuse the personal identity of other people, their authorization codes, long distance telephone services, or the property and physical equipment of other people.

Rationale of Section V

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VI.  Respect confidentiality and privacy

  1. Data collected should be considered private and accessible by authorized personnel only. Minimize the amount of data collected and ensure proper security for storage and disposal.
  2. Instruct students on responsible written communication, etiquette and privacy issues.
  3. Technologies should be used to perform surveillance on students or colleagues only as warranted within established guidelines.
  4. Respect students' and colleagues' rights to privacy, as outlined in the school's acceptable use policies or adopted board policy.
  5. The educator will maintain student anonymity when publishing to the web through use of technologies and as outlined in the school acceptable use policy or adopted board policy. This may be achieved through the use of pseudonyms instead of actual student name.

Rationale of Section VI



        Uphold and promote the principles of the code contained within this document

        Review boards monitoring the Code of Ethics for Technology Use in Education shall establish rule of procedure with the majority approval of colleagues.

        Educational professionals should accept that this Technology Code of Ethics for Education Professionals is ideal and may not all be achievable, at all times, within all circumstances. In practice, an educator may find times where some codes conflict with other codes, including codes from other sources or district policies. When this occasion arises, the educator must weigh the circumstances and decide to act in a manner that is most consistent with the Technology Code of Ethics for Education. Adhere to the Technology Code of Ethics for Education Professionals keeping in mind the NEA Code of Ethics of the Education Profession.

        The educator shall not accept any gratuity, gift, or favor that might impair or appear to influence professional decisions or action in relation to use of technologies.

We live in a technological age, which gives people access to information from around the globe. Obviously, only a portion of the information available to society is deemed appropriate for use in an educational environment. Educators have a responsibility to instruct students on proper internet etiquette, good judgment in selection of developmentally appropriate sites, materials and activities. Likewise, educators have a responsibility to students, families, the profession and society to conduct themselves in a professional, caring manner at all times. This code of ethics for technology can serve as an operational guideline for which teaching professionals can honor and follow. Any deviation of conduct as outlined within this code, would be considered unprofessional and subject to board review procedures with consensus approval (refer to second bulleted item above). Thus, such procedures could constitute the following: termination of technological use, restriction of future access and/or enforceable by law. Other examples of unprofessional conduct would involve harm to student welfare, evidence of intentional malice, serious incompetence, bad judgment and/or show a consistent pattern of misconduct. By no means is this an exhaustive list of any and all acts nor does the code adequately address the hardship of consistent monitoring however, the quality and integrity of the profession rests upon the code of conduct and will be reflected in the students we prepare for the society of tomorrow.


Professional Responsibility

        Maintain and increase professional competence through a program of continuing education encompassing the techniques, technical standards, and practices in your field.

        Encourage professional development and advancement of colleagues and students.

        Assist colleagues in obtaining quality in both the process and products of professional work utilizing technology.

        Keep abreast of relevant new technologies.

        The educator will not misrepresent his/her technological qualifications or qualifications of colleagues.


Educators have a profound affect on the current and lasting social and ethical issues relating to technologies. The education profession is vested by the public with a trust and responsibility requiring the highest ideals of technology use within education for the long-term benefits of the student. The quality with which educators admit, acquire, and utilize technologies within educational settings help each student realize his or her potential as a worthy, effective member of a technological, information-based society with life-long learning capabilities.

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Code of Ethics. 1995. [On-line]. Available gopher: gopher.ala.org:70 / 00 alagophii/ethics.txt Fullinwider, Robert. 1995. Professional codes and moral understanding. Res Publica 4:1-6.

ASA Code of Ethics http://www.asanet.org/ecoderev.htm

Alden, Sally Bowman, Executive Director - Emphasizes Responsible Use of Technology

Computer Learning Foundation http://www.computerlearning.org/articles/respmyth.htm

Association for Computer Machinery - ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. 1992. [On-line] Available http://www.acm.org/constitution/code.html 1993. In electronic format. IT Practitioner's Handbook. Darlinghurst, NSW: Australian Computer Society.

Association of Computing Machines (ACM) Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct http://www.acm.org/constitution/code.html Center for Study of Ethics in the Professions Illinois Institute of Technology

Code of Ethics of the Education Profession (National Education Association) http://www.nea.org/aboutnea/code.html Codes of Ethics On-Line

Chico Unified School District, CA

American Counseling Association

Chmura, Gail A., What Do Students Think About Computer Ethics? Oakton High School; Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia; June 2000 http://gse.gmu.edu/research/tr/articles/Chmura/ethics.htm

Computers, Ethics, and Social Responsibility, Terry Winograd

The Computer Ethics Institute - The ten commandments of computer usage; 11 Dupont Circle, NW Suite 900; Washington DC 20036; e-mail: CEI-L@american.edu

 Ethics in Computing, Dr. Edward F. Gehringer http://www.eos.ncsu.edu/eos/info/computer ethics/

Ethics of Technology in Education, Carrie Beverly 1993 http://rgfn.epcc.edu/programs/trainer/ethics.html

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. Code of Ethics IEEE Board of Directors http://www.ieeeusa.org/documents/CAREER/CAREER LIBRARY/ethics.html

Jones and Bartlett - Morality and Machines, Perspectives on Computer Ethics, Stacey L. Edgar, 1997, , Sudbury, Massachusetts

Merle Marsh, Ed.D. - Piracy, Pornography, Plagiarism, Propaganda, Privacy; Teaching Children to Be Responsible Users of Technology Protects Their Rights and the Rights of Others. http://www.computerlearning.org/articles/Ethics98.htm

Netetiquette Quiz sass.clubhouse; http://www.albion.com/netiquette
Link to sass club; http://www.sass.ca/club.htm

Prairie Grove Consolidated School District Parent Communication & Computer Network System Access Terms and Conditions

Professional Ethics, Johnson and Mulvey 1995:63)

SAGE, The System Administrators Guild Code of Ethics http://www.usenix.org/sage/publications/code of ethics.html

Undergraduate Texts in Computer Science, Ethical and Social Issues in the Information Age, Kizza, Joseph Migga,1998,Springer-Verlag, 175 Fifth Ave. New York, NY

Boston University - Conditions of Use and Policy on Computing Ethics June 1990; http://med-biophd.bu.edu/www/ethics/ethics.html

A Survey of Selected Computer Policies from Institutions of Higher Education http://www.brown.edu/Research/Unix_Admin/cuisp/

Willard, Nancy E. - Play by the Rules of the House

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created by Nelda Baker
Magdalena, NM
Last updated July 22, 2002 12:50 PM -0600