ETHICAL ISSUES OF E-LEARNING IN CYBER GROUPS
Fakultet za menadzment (SERBIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The slogan of global computerization, in which we are involved and we become more and more involved, is: “Faster, stronger, better!” That opens one of the main questions for information ethics, whether there is room for comparatives – or the computerization has made the world different and many things for which we would say that they are “faster or stronger” do not have anything to be compared with, since the reality which we deal with is one completely new reality, both by the type and the content. It is obvious that new information techniques bring many benefits, especially in the field of learning, acquisition and all types of education, but they also endanger some of our most important values, such as truthfulness, reliability, safety and privacy of communication, which is the subject of this paper.
New technologies of modern society have increased the possibility of learning and changed the ways in which the learning is accomplished. Today, most cultural institutions have web sites and offer their virtual information services, and groups of similar interests are created and expanded independently of geographical position of members, and in that way, consciously or unconsciously they form new social groups in cyber space.
Internet expands the power and reach of individuals in all fields of knowledge acquisition, because the range of possible uses is infinitely large and it almost depends only on the power of our imagination. Enormous speed, easy access, manipulativeness, practically unlimited possibilities of storage, create amazing possibilities for most diverse uses of this new technology that changes our world more than any other technology since the discovery of fire and wheel. Computers provide many benefits, including the opening of the new window for learning, informing, socialization, but they also give space to those who wish to use, persecute and torture the others. Many ethical dilemmas emerge from that two-way effect, and the branch of business ethics – „cyber ethics“ deals with them.
As the Internet is widely used network worldwide, it has a great variety of information. That is due to many media that are present on it and that post various information every minute, very often without considering their accuracy. Sometimes, it occurs that they deliberately post false information that are usually of an “intriguing” content in order to attract the attention of as many people.
Adoption of rules and laws about the Internet is not an easy task. The very nature of the Internet – millions of connected computers in all parts of the world, makes Internet regulation difficult, but not impossible. The lack of rules means that anyone who uses the Internet, which is mostly a public network, can be a target to anyone who has technical knowledge and willingness for such an activity.
This work is an outcome of the research project "Digital media technologies and socio-educational change" (Project No. 47020) which is implemented with financial support from the Ministry of Science, technological development and education of the Republic of Serbia.
Keywords: Cyber ethics, Internet, digitalization, cyber-space, information ethics.