Resources for teaching information technology ethics to children and young adults

Suggestions for additions to this page are always welcome. My workshop handouts are here.

This section contains links to a variety of scenarios of ethical and unethical technology use by students. The scenarios will include discussion questions and brief commentary. I would welcome real receiving real incidents from your experiences as a library media specialist, teacher or parent that would make good discussion starters.

 The complete list of scenarios and other resources can be found in my book, Learning Right from Wrong in the Digital Age: An Ethics Guide for Parents, Teachers, Librarians, and Others Who Care about Computer-Using Young People. Linworth, 2003

      Privacy                                      Property                              aPproriate use
  1. John’s survey                           2. Ben’s game                        3. Jack’s photograph
  4. Adele’s phone number              5. Betty’s shareware               6. Alice’s impersonation
  7. Paul’s email                             8. Cindy’s copy and paste        9. Penelope’s jokes
10. Jennie’s computer terminal      11. Albert’s term paper           12. Otis’s library use
13. Ms. West’s grading program    14. Fahad’s destroyed data      15. Nellie’s printing
16. Alfreda’s spam                       17. Lucy’s virus                       18. Chang’s message
19. Mr. Black’s overdue list           20. Hank’s bomb                     21. Clark’s pornography site
22. Joel’s password                     23. Brady’s music                    24. Linda’s disorder
25. Trixie’s website                     26. Sara’s investment               27. Peter and Paul’s PDA use
28. Ike and Tina’s website           29. Raul’s videotape                 30. Bill’s alternative school website
31. Anne’s credit card                 32. Barry’s paraphrase             33.  Debbie’s campaign
34. Sun Kim’s home computer     35. Benita’s cartoons                36. Alex’s research topic

A selection of my published writings on ethical use issues

  • “Maintaining Intellectual Freedom in a Filtered World,” Leading and Learning with Technology, May 2005
  • “The Other Side of Plagiarism,” Head for the Edge Column, Library Media Connection, August/Sept 2004.
  • “Are You the Copyright Cop?” with Carol Simpson, Leading and Learning with Technology, April 2005.
  • “Developing Ethical Behaviors in Students: What Schools Must Do.” Educational and Media Technology Yearbook 2003
  • “Developing an ethical compass for worlds of learning.” MultiMedia Schools, Nov/Dec 1998 (This is the article on which the presentations I give are based.)
  • “Copy, cut, plagiarize,” Technology Connections, January 1996
  • “Is it plagiarism?”
  • “Creating high temptation environments.” Library Talk/The Book Report, September/October, 2000.
  • “Lessons School Librarians Teach Others,” American Libraries, December 2004. (Referenced in the 7th edition of the ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Manual and now available online.)
  • “Mischief and mayhem.” Technology Connection, Decemeber 1997.
  • “Raising good citizens for a virtual world: an online ethics primer for parents. 2001. Online course for the American Association of School Librarians.
  • “So Tell Us a Little About Yourself” (Data privacy), Library Media Connection,  October 2003

Other published writings on ethical use issues

  • Adams, H. The Internet Invasion: Is Privacy at Risk? Follett’s Professional Development Series, 2000.
  • Adams, H. “Privacy & Confidentiality: Now More Than Ever, Youngsters Need to Keep Their Library Use Under Wraps.” American Libraries, Nov 2002.
  • American Association of School Librarians. (1998). Information power: building partnerships for learning. Chicago : American Library Association. (Information literacy standards that address ethical use.)
  • Barlow, J. ãThe Economy of Ideas: A framework for patents and copyrights in the Digital Age.ä Wired, Mar 1994 <>
  • Barron, D. ãThe Library Media Specialist, Information Power, and Social Responsibility: Part 1 (Plagiarism).ä School Library Media Activities Monthly, February 2002
  • Boschmann, E. The Electronic Classroom: A Handbook for Education in the Electronic Environment. Learned Information, Inc. 1995.
  • Brown, J. “Technology and Ethics.” Learning and Leading with Technology. March, 1997
  • Carpenter, C. “Online Ethics: What’s a Teacher to Do?” Learning and Leading with Technology. March, 1996
  • Carter, J. “High Speed High School.” Cable in the Classroom. June, 1998.
  • Cohen, Randy. The Good, the Bad & the Difference: How to Tell the Right from Wrong in Everyday Situations. Doubleday, 2002. (Wonderfully pragmatic on issues of ethical issues not related to technology.)
  • Dyson, E. ãIntellectual Valueä Wired, July 1995 <>
  • Foss, K and Lathrop, A. Student Cheating and Plagiarism in the Internet Era: A Wake-Up Call. Libraries Unlimited, 2000
  • Gralla, P. The Complete Idiotâs Guide to Protecting Your Children Online. Que, 2000.
  •     Harris, R. The Plagiarism Handbook: Strategies for Preventing, Detecting, and Dealing with Plagiarism. Pyrczak, 2001
  • Head, S. ãBig Brother in a Black Box.ä Civilization. August-September, 1999.
  • Houston, P. “The Trouble With Ethics.” Sourcebook. Spring, 1991.
  • International Society for Technology in Education. (2000). National educational technology standards for students÷connecting curriculum and technology. Eugene , OR : International Society for Technology in Education. (Technology  literacy standards that address ethical use.)
  • Johnson, D. G. Computer ethics 3rd ed. 2000. Paramus , NJ :Prentice-Hall.. (Comprehensive and very readable.)
  • McEwan, J. “Computer Ethics.” National Institute of Justice Reports. January-February, 1991.
  • Schwartau, Internet & Computer Ethics for Kids (and Parents & Teachers Who Haven’t Got a Clue. Interpact Press, 2001. (Appealing to students. Produced by Nice Kids - see URL below.)
  • Sivin, J and Bialo, E. Ethical Use of Information Technologies in Education: Important Issues for America’s Schools. U.S. Department of Justice, 1992. (A seminal work.)
  • Willard, N. Computer Ethics, Etiquette & Safety for the 21st-Century Student. ISTE, 2002 (Great activities for the classroom teacher.)

Web resources on ethical use issues and helpful tools

  • ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct <
  • Alden, S. ãResponsible Computing Myths.ä <> (not responding 7-16-04
  • American Library Associationâs ãCode of Ethicsä <>
  • American Library Associationâs Intellectual Freedom Committee. Questions and Answers on Privacy and Confidentiality <>
  • American Library Associationâs ãPrivacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rightsä <    
  • Association of Shareware Professionals<>
  • AT&Tâs Privacy Bird at <>
  • Center for Democracy and Privacy <>
  • Computer Ethics (an interactive guide) <> (Up-to-date and fun. Part of the larger ãThinkQuestä site.)
  • Computer Ethics Institute <
  • Computer Learning Foundation <> (Premier website for responsible use of technology by young people. Several articles on this bibliography come from here. Also sells a responsible use curriculum called Chip & Friends.) (not responding 7-16-04)
  • Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility <>
  • CONFU Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Media: <>
  • Do-it yourself: Stop junk mail, email and phone calls <>  
  • Don’t Buy It. Get Media Smart. <>
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation <>
  • F-Secure Corporation <>
  • FBIâs Parent Guide to Internet Safety <>
  • Government of Canada. Illegal and Offensive Content on the Internet: the Canadian Strategy to Promote Safe, Wise and Responsible Internet Use. 2002 <>
  • Graham Taylor’s Plagiarism Prevention site. <>
  • Harris, R. ãAnti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers,ä <>
  • ID Theft: the U.S. government’s central website for information about identity theft.<>
  • Indiana University Bloomington <
  • Internet Privacy Coalition <>
  • Internet Super Heroes <>
  •     Jefferson County (CO) copyright chart and guidelines <>(not responding 7-16-04)
  • Kabay, M. ãThe Napster Cantataä <,,12089_625221,00.html>
  • Kids Privacy On-line <> (not responding 7-16-04)
  • Lincoln , M. Internet plagiarism: an agenda for staff inservice and student awareness. MultiMedia Schools, January/February 2002 < MMSchools/jan02/Lincoln.htm>
  • Lockdown Password FAQ <> (not responding 7-16-04)
  • Magid, L ãFiltering Programs Useful But Far From Perfect.ä, March 2000. <>
  • Marsh , M. ãPornography, Plagiarism, Propaganda, Privacy:Teaching Children to Be Responsible Users of Technology Protects Their Rights and the Rights of Others.ä <> (not responding 7-16-04)
  • Meltzer, B. “Digital Photography — a Question of Ethics.” Learning and Leading with Technology. December-January, 1995-96 <>
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website <
  • NetSmartz (a collaboration between the Boys and Girls Clubs of Amercia and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children <>
  • Nice Kids: Network for Internet and Computer Ethics. <> (not responding 7-16-04)
  • North Central Regional Education Laboratory ãTechnology Resource Usage Policy Templateä <>
  • Pew Internet & American Life Project ÎTeenage Life Onlineä <>
  • Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) Avoiding Plagiarism. < research/r_plagiar.html>
  • Responsible Netizen <>
  • Rinaldi, A. The Net: User Guidelines and Netiquette <>
  • Scambusters <>
  • Sherwood, K. A Beginner’s Guide to Effective Email <
  • Schrock, K. ãCritical Evaluation Information (of web sites) <>
  • Software & Industry Information Association (formerly the Software Publishers Association) <>
  • Strategies for Teaching Children Responsible Use of Technology.  <> (not responding 7-16-04)
  • Templeton, B. ã10 Big Myths about Copyright Explainedä <>
  • Turnitin <>
  • United States Department of Education. “Parents Guide to the Internet.” November 1997. <> (not responding 7-16-04)
  • United States Department of Energyâs CIAC Information Bulletin I-034 Internet Cookies <>
  • United States Department of Energy. Hoaxbusters.  <>
  • Valenza, J. ãTeaching Ethics in a World of Electronics.” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 18, 1999. <>
  • WiredSafety <>