As I read and reread the ACET professional ethics, I could not help but stop on sections 1.5 & 1.7. These sections discuss how we purchase educational technology and what we purchase. Throughout my teaching career, which has been 4 years, I have always questions the expenditures on educational technology. My questions have revolved around the justification for purchases. In a data driven sector, this seems to be the one area where data takes a back seat to society’s thirst for new technology. Please do not get me wrong; I am not against spending money on technology, I simply want to see data to justify the allocation of resources.
Before teaching. I was in retail and restaurant. When I needed to make a capital expenditure or wanted to, I needed to produce reliable data to prove how this expenditure would improve the business and ultimately improve the bottom line of the company. If I could not do this, then no allocation of funds took place. As a teacher, I want to see the same thing. Improved student performance is our bottom line, plain and simple. It is not engagement or whether the students are bored. Performance is what it is all about, at least it is in my opinion.
I teach CIS and Advanced CIS. The ultimate goal that has been given to me is to get as many students as possible to get certified in at least one member of the Microsoft Office Suite. This is my bottom line, therefore any and all resources should be geared to this goal. Using anything that does not help with this goal, is technically of little use to me. As a teacher I should be able to captivate, motivate and will my students to succeed. I have realized that the relationships we build in the classroom are the number one factor determining student success, because it is these relationships that drive everything else.
Based on this, I feel our educational leaders face a tremendous ethical dilemma when it comes to educational technology. How much and what are two questions that must be answered with hard data. No other justification seems ethical.
Here is the link to my paper.