Monday, 9 October 2017

Legal and ethical contexts in my digital practice

Week 29:    Activity 5 Legal and ethical contexts in my digital practice
Who should I have as ‘friends’ on my Social Media networks? This is an ethical conundrum for me as a professional.  Often the lines of Friendship and professionalism may Blur and a huge dose of Caution is required.
I have many acquaintances (under the heading of Friends or Contacts) on line – some are past students and some are parents of current students.  I have an inbuilt horror of displaying anything remotely private on line in a public arena so therefore I tend to use social media simply as a means of Contact, entertainment and keeping in touch. 
Following Hall’s (2001) Questions to guide ethical decision-making guidelines I will analyse my ethical position about Who I should befriend on Social-Media as anything I post or comment or approve/dis-approve of is in the Public domain for ever.
  • The problem and the Principle involved?

The problem is that Parents or past students may post anything on-line which may be inappropriate and as a member of their social media community I may be ‘tagged’ or ‘messaged’ inadvertently.  The Principle from the Educational Council (2016) that is involved is: demonstrating a high standard of professional behaviour and integrity.
  • Who are the main stakeholders with interests in the problem, and what are their interests?

The School would be interested if I was publically involved in anything inappropriate or disturbing on-line. Being a special Character school my Parish community or even the Diocese may have an interest. The concern would be over my professionalism and integrity which would reflect poorly on my school and role I have in the school.  
  •    Which stakeholders should be given priority? Why?

The children I have day to day care for are the main stakeholders.  They along with their families deserve and expect me to behave in a professional manner and represent the school they have chosen for their children to attend.
  •     What restrictions are there to your actions?

I am essentially restricted by the Educational Council Code of Ethics (2016) and School Code of Conduct and Expectations.
  •     What courses of action are possible?

I therefore have to continually monitor any and all public communications I am in anyway involved in.  This can encompass any public outing where there may be CCTV or where any person has a device. My behaviours or attendance anywhere can instantly be recorded and posted on-line and be made available for public scrutiny and interpretation.

It is important to remember that the Pen is mightier that the sword, A pic is worth a 1000 words and that Privacy is almost non-existent.

My Advice to you is Be Mindful at all times of your behaviour. Choose carefully who you befriend on-line and monitor the on-line behaviours and posts that interact with you.

 Find the UNFOLLOW button and don’t be afraid to use it.

Education Council (2016). Our Code Our Standards – code of professional responsibility and standards for the teaching profession.

Hall, A. (2001). What ought I to do, all things considered? An approach to the exploration of ethical problems by teachers. Paper presented at the IIPE Conference, Brisbane. Retrieved from

Ministry of Education. (2016). Digital Technology – safe and responsible use in schools. New Zealand Government.