HOW to teach ethical/moral Internet use at schools

Here are just a few ideas on how I would approach the teaching of Internet ethics at schools.  Please add your own ideas in a reply.

Pedagogical approach

A range of pedagogical approaches could be used depending on the specific activity.  My main idea is to have students muddle their own way through all of the issues related to Internet use.   The use of Collaborative learning and Inquiry-based learning would be a strong focus in both face-to-face group discussion as well as online group activities like blogging and collaborating in Wikis.  Authentic learning is a key pedagogical approach too, so it is imperative to know what types of Internet skills students already have and what they are interested in learning.

Through inquiry, in-class group activities and online collaborative activities students should be encouraged to discuss the pros and cons of interacting, sharing and researching online.  Ethical and moral considerations should always be centre to these discussions.  Collaborative group work activities can be enhanced by grouping students together to ensure that at least one member has a mobile phone and the use of the phone in learning activities should be encouraged.

Some resources

Bubnic, A. (2011). Digital citizenship/lesson plans [Diigo list]. Retrieved from

  • A list of over 180 resources and tools that help teachers with digital citizenship knowledge, understanding and lesson plan ideas.

Department of Education, Training and Employment. (2012). SMART Classrooms Year 11 to 12: Student ICT Expectations. Retrieved from Department of Education, Training and Employment:

  • A list of the ICT expectations for senior students in Years 11 and 12.  Consider how limited the student exploration and learning of these expectations would be given the current situation with blocked sites at many schools.  Each main section in this document would be enhanced by allowing greater Internet freedom and the use of student mobile phones in the classroom.

Digital Citizenship. (2012). Nine themes of digital citizenship.  Retrieved from

  • A website that outlines nine important considerations for digital citizenship which could be used as the basis of inquiry into this topic.

NSW Government: Education & Communities. (2011). Digital Citizenship [interactive website]. Retrieved from

  • An excellent online interactive website created for educational use with Primary and Secondary focus.  Includes fun, interactive games and links to other great sites such as Budd:e, CyberNetrix and Digizen.  Information about digital citizenship, cyber-bullying and ethical responsibility.

Schneider, E. (2012, May). Un-block the internet at schools [blog post] Retrieved from

  • A blog post I wrote outlining the advantages to unblocking the Internet at school.  This blog post would be a good starting point for further research and collaborative inquiry for teachers.

4 comments on “HOW to teach ethical/moral Internet use at schools

  1. […] do not fear the Internet and use it often in positive ways.  We should be teaching our kids about ethics and morals anyway and this should be integrated with discussion about online activity.  Once we have cyber literate students then we can benefit from all of the wonderful ways that […]


  2. […] risks in most Qld schools today is wrong and disadvantages our students.  Learning about being a good digital citizen (and the benefits that go along with that) and ensuring that students are aware of the potential […]


  3. […] student beliefs, relationships and behaviours while also pro-actively educating students about ethical and safe Internet use.  Knowledgeable and culturally aware teachers may work as change agents to educate through […]


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