Personal devices and social platforms, like Seesaw, are now the norm and whanau are becoming regular 'flies on our walls'.
The fly in the ointment is that we teachers could also be recorded, potentially in our worst moment, and for that recording to be instantly shared.
|Image 1, Students Filming with iPad 30 (Flickinger, B., 2012)|
1. The critical incident.
My students were mid video reflections with personal iPads when another teacher walked into the lesson, venting in a state of frustration.
Meanwhile, students completed their recordings, uploaded to Seesaw as per expectation and left for lunch. Approximately half the video reflections had recorded the outburst.
|Figure 2. Reflective model. (Rolfe et al., 2001).|
2. The competing forces that impacted on decision-making.
The ethical dilemma:
a) content belonged to multiple students,
b) the teacher is a valued colleague, who was recorded without her knowledge.
Digital information can be communicated rapidly, is hard to permanently delete and can be remotely accessed, (Ministry of Education, 2015). Had a student or parent used this footage with poor judgement, it could have resulted in a negative impact on our school community.
The Ministry of Education’s DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY: Safe and responsible use in schools (2015, p.37), offers a guideline for removing problematic digital information. It states “to delete only when it is appropriate, act promptly to prevent content spreading, thereby reducing any distress or harm that may be caused.”
It further warns that digital information can only be deleted with complete confidence if all copies are removed and cannot be restored or accessed from another source. Deleted only with “a clear understanding of what this action is aiming to achieve” and “the knowledge that this action could break or add the school to the chain of evidence.” (Ministry of Education, 2015, p.37).
3. My values, beliefs, and ethical orientations.
My instinct was to protect the teacher and the reputation of the school. However, I also had to consider that, if mishandled, my actions may cause further disruption.
4. The choice to act.
I removed the videos from student devices, blaming poor sound quality. This action protected both students and teacher as outlined in Scenario 5 (Ministry of Education, 2015, p.40):
|Figure 3. Scenario 5. (Ministry of Education’s DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY, p.40, 2015)|
In The Code of Professional Responsibility, this decision reflects: Commitment to the Teaching Profession, maintaining trust and confidence and particularly items 2 and 3.
|Figure 4. Our Code Our Standards, (Education Council, 2017).|
And in The Standards for the Teaching Profession, it reflects: Professional Relationships:
|Figure 5. Our Code Our Standards (Education Council, 2017).|
5. Implications for the individual, organisation and the community.
Our Code of Conduct Policy has Serious Misconduct category about "verbal harassment or threatening behaviour against another staff member." If seen out of context by a parent, this recording may cause unnecessary concern.
Finally the policy for Objectionable Electronics Information has the most applicable information for this situation, even though it was conceived for dealing with students accessing inappropriate on-line content.
|Figure 6. Objectionable Electronics Information Policy (Kristin)|
One recommendation is that digital policies are more regularly reviewed in recognition of quickly evolving conditions in this learning space.
When filming, I now arrange students around the room with the speaker’s back to a wall to minimise potential visual intrusion, and I step outside of the recording zone if a visitor arrives. I also refer students to our Digital Citizenship Poster:
|Figure 7. Digital Citizenship Poster (Kristin)|
Against Zeichner and Liston’s five levels of reflection, (cited in Finlay, 2008, p.4), "Rapid” reflection and “Repair” were the two that I actioned.
Also considered are
- MANAAKITANGA: creating a welcoming, caring and creative learning environment that treats everyone with respect and dignity, and
- the 1st aim in our 4th code about Commitment to Society.
|Figure 8. Our Code Our Standards. (Education Council, 2017).|
What constitutes ethical behaviour is likely to be influenced by organisational, personal and cultural beliefs, rather than the Teaching Code. In Lyons’ (1990) research, teachers revealed that dilemmas were either ongoing or likely to recur, makes the point that ‘many of the dilemmas of teaching are not solvable and must simply be managed rather than resolved’ (p.168).
Education Council. (2017). Our Code Our Standards.Retrieved from: https://educationcouncil.org.nz/sites/default/files/Our%20Code%20Our%20Standards%20web%20booklet%20FINAL.pdf
Ehrich, L. C. , Kimber M., Millwater, J. & Cranston, N. (2011). Ethical dilemmas: a model to understand teacher practice, Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, 17:2, 173-185, DOI: 10.1080/13540602.2011.539794
Finlay, L. (2009). Reflecting on reflective practice. PBPL. Retrieved from http://www.open.ac.uk/opencetl/files/opencetl/file…
Flickinger, B., (2012). Students Filming with iPad 30. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/56155476@N08/7242929380
Lyons, N. (1990). Dilemmas of knowing: Ethical and epistemological dimensions of teachers’ work and development. Harvard Educational Review, 60(2), 159–180.
Ministry of Education. (2015).DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY Safe and responsible use in schools. Wellington: New Zealand: Author. Retrieved from https://www.education.govt.nz/assets/Documents/School/Managing-and-supporting-students/DigitalTechnologySafeAndResponsibleUseInSchs.pdf
Rolfe et al.'s reflective model, (2001). Adapted from: Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., Jasper, M. (2001) Critical reflection in nursing and the helping professions: a user's guide. Retrieved from https://my.cumbria.ac.uk/media/MyCumbria/Documents/ReflectiveModelRolfe.pdf
School Policies and Digital citizenship document retrieved from Kristin school server.