Topic 4: Observe ethics.

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Social media as an educational tool today is beneficial as such it pulls together students into one platform to facilitate learning, and its versatility in incorporating multimedia like powerpoint and videos altogether make learning very cohesive. Educational use of social media has been increasing with the benefits it brings. This module is a good example of educational use through social media like blogs and Youtube; I enjoyed it very much as I don’t need to go to school.

Social media as we know has given many opportunities for self-expressing as mentioned previously from topic 1-3, free speech being an example. Be it personal/professional, social media is accessible anywhere. Young people like us are most probably in contact with some social media constantly, scrolling through feeds to receive updates from friends, look at entertainment and receive world news.

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Such involvement in social media give rise to quick responses to viral content both positive and negative. Negative ones are often slammed by viewers with comments intending to put them in a bad light, like online harassment and cyber-bullying. This results in unethical irresponsible speech and verbal abuse, all being behind the safety of their screens with anonymity. Bringing this to educational context, it is sometimes apparent when a student experiences cyberbullying or have comments direct at him which is perceived as offensive, they are more reluctant to participate in online social activities.

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Anonymity can be linked to plagiarism. Through the use of social media in education, materials like reports or somebody’s thoughts can be shared and downloaded freely. Anonymity can lead to difficulty in tracing back to the original source and with social media in education context, can lead to easier plagiarism. This is due to the fact with social media for sharing opinions/works, information can get restructured the more it is passed along. Therefore, it is more difficult to trace what content is being copied because they are re-interpreted through the sharing stages. I feel there is a need to include this as mentioned above, if a student is being bullied online, their works can be taken over without their consent which he/she might be afraid to voice out, leading to more bullying.

To summarise, the benefits social media brings to education is plentiful, the opposite can also be observed. Bringing education online is a key part of the ever shifting paradigm to online platforms and integrating social medias into learning culture for real-time feedbacks and ease of it. But this also give rise to many cases of ethical issues and the likes. Similar in real life, one has to observe manners and be ethical on how they carry themselves. It is crucial in this age to understand the online customs to avoid uneccessary trouble.

Here’s a video to illustrate more ethical issues of social media in education and business.

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References

Social media in education: Ethical concerns (2014) Available at: https://altc.alt.ac.uk/blog/2014/07/social-media-in-education-ethical-concerns/#gref (Accessed: 11 November 2016).

LLP, E.P. (2010) Social media in education: How social media is changing education. Available at: http://www.bbcactive.com/BBCActiveIdeasandResources/Howsocialmediaischangingeducation.aspx (Accessed: 11 November 2016).

 

Lenhart, A. (2015) Teens, social media & technology overview 2015. Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/09/teens-social-media-technology-2015/ (Accessed: 11 November 2016).

Editorial (2016) Twitter abuse: Easy on the messenger. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/24/twitter-abuse-abusive-tweets-editorial?CMP=twt_gu (Accessed: 11 November 2016).

Social media in education: Ethical concerns (2014) Available at: https://altc.alt.ac.uk/blog/2014/07/social-media-in-education-ethical-concerns/#gref (Accessed: 11 November 2016).

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6 thoughts on “Topic 4: Observe ethics.

  1. Hello Jiajun,

    Thank you for sharing your views about this ongoing ethical issue. I agree on the benefits of having social media in education now, which provides students to facilitate learning through useful tools such as learning to create videos on YouTube/Powtoons or developing their online profile.

    However, in regards to cyber-bullying, I think that the reason why and how cyber-bullying occurs should be written in the text as well so we can understand how this issue develops before working on a solution. Furthermore, I would like to enquire if there’s any way(s) to prevent this from happening?

    Another point to ponder about will be how an individual can share ideas online without worrying for plagiarism. As you mentioned in your text, the danger of having plagiarism are ideas and creation being stolen and used by others instead. So, I would like to enquire if every student were to use anti-plagiarism website such as the one we have now, namely “turnitin”, what are the pros and cons about it?

    Hope to receive from you soon! Thanks!

    -Rebecca

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    1. Hi Rebecca, thanks for reading and commenting on my post.
      Certainly, I think there is a need for more awareness on cyberbullying. Nowadays, social media provides anonymity and free speech which people can say anything without being known. There are many statistics online showing users of social media subjecting to harsh verbal commenting and bullying and many of them do feel psychological impacts even if it’s just a small bit. The simple solution to this is to simply ignore those comments because you don’t even know the person. If you happen to know the person in real-life getting bullied, do offer to help them.

      To answer your second question, information can change the more it is passed along. So for example if person A writes something, person B may perceive it differently and writes based on his opinion, etc. With using anti-plagiarism sites, in education it is easy to trace back to the original source because of citations and referencing. However, when one reinterpret it based on his opinions and restructure the information, it might be difficult for the site to trace back.

      Hope this helps!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jia Jun, your post has clearly shown that social media has been a constructive platform for us to learn and share our ideas. I also understand from your post, that you have listed anonymity as the most significant factor resulting in unethical conduct online.

    To add on to your take, I felt that “freedom of who I want to be online”, could well be the root cause of anonymity. Freedom of expression online, when abused, has no boundaries. Then, after some obvious damage is done , the user retreats and hides behind the screen. Like an offender who has no courage to face up to any consequence, he identifies himself as “anonymous” as an escape route. Are we on the same page of understanding?

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    1. Hello Nobu thanks for reading and the comment.

      Yes there is freedom with anonymity and with it, many users do comment without thinking and considerate of the consequences because in a sense, nobody knows their true identity. Therefore it is more the important for people to observe ethical behaviour online because what they say can affect those around them and also how other people’s perception.
      However there are also several cases where users use their real account or have an account that’s linked to their real profiles when they leave comments and footprints online. This can result in undesirable consequences if their unethical behaviours goes viral.

      Like

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