ETHICS IN EDUCATION AND THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY
1 Mercy College (UNITED STATES)
2 Gratz College (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Trust is essential for ethical behavior in education, especially with the use of technology. Technology has enabled remote instruction, and practice and exams online even for those taking courses on site. There is an overuse of technology in some instances, and it is undermining the issue of trust, and consequently has an adverse and unethical impact on education.
Trust and respect are important factors of a learning environment. If a student does not respect and trust his or her teacher or professor, or if an instructor is not respectful of students, the learning environment will not be as supportive as it should be, and the instructor’s pedagogical strategy will not be as effective. (Developing Trust, 2002).
In the realm of education, the overuse of technology may be regarded as unethical, firstly, where it directly undermines student trust, and, secondly, where it has deleterious effects on the students. The former is evidenced, for example, in the use of proctoring software to “deter, detect and prevent cheating, authenticate identities, and protect exam content” (Proctoru,2002). Companies offer different levels of service such as record, review, and record and review coupled with live proctoring, but the basic underlying idea in all levels of service is the idea of “proctorless” exam session recording, powered by artificial intelligence technology. While even live human proctoring may be regarded as an ethically questionable practice, inferior say to the honor system which actually promotes trust, the use of proctor software is far more impersonal and sends a more direct message to students that they are not trustworthy. Physical human presence during an exam can have a softening effect on the absence of trust message, as when a proctor says encouraging things before the exam begins and sets the tone as exam papers are distributed; however, no such encouragement is present when it is done by use of sophisticated software supported by the use of technology.
The overuse of technology also crosses ethical boundaries when it has damaging effects on students. These include:
- Adverse repercussions on attention and memory spans,
- Dehumanization of educational environments by distorting social interactions between teachers and students and isolating individuals,
- Negative impacts on student imagination as overuse of computers has demonstrated that students are limited in their ability to create their own visual images or ideas. (Digital Responsibility, 2020).
Given the aforementioned adverse aspects of technology on education, the operative question is how are we stymieing the future education and learning of our students? The long-term effects on our population are not encouraging.
Trust is the essence of good pedagogy. The relationship between an educator and her students is paramount to guiding her students to becoming lifelong learners; however, many of the pedagogical approaches used to instill integrity in the learning process accentuate the use of technology to a degree that is detrimental, as opposed to beneficial, of an ideal learning environment. Our contention is that the use of technology in education milieu at a level that is beneficial is evidently a plus, but it needs to be suitable, and the effects of all factors must be considered.
Keywords: Ethics, technology, trust, education.