Respect and Ethics in the Classroom

The following post is for my EDIM 508 grad class.

This week we were asked to reflect on Julene Reed’s article “Global Collaboration and Learning” by sharing ways in which digital media can be used to develop students’ respectful and ethical minds.

As a former social studies teacher I believe these are two incredibly important mindsets students must possess to succeed in today’s global economy. Chances are high that students will work in an environment where they are connecting with individuals from across the globe. In order to be effective and maximize their working relationships they need to respect the differences that may exist between their colleagues.

It’s important for educators to model respect and ethical behavior for students. Thought it may seem as if students are too self-involved to pay attention to teachers, they watch with a careful eye how teachers treat each other as well as how they interact with their peers in the classroom . While Gardner says math and science are “universal languages”, he talks about the importance of “human-inflected topics” being taught in a variety of perspectives. (pg. 111)

Growing up in a small town in Iowa, it was difficult to truly understand different cultures just by looking at pictures, reading stories and watching the occasional film strip. With access to digital tools and content, students can now be transported into a new environment, allowing them to gain a strong understanding by seeing information from a variety of perspectives.

One example of using digital media to develop respectful and ethical minds is by using Skype in the classroom. Teachers can visit Skype in the Classroom to search for classrooms and individuals to connect with from around the world based on specific content areas. With a click of a button students can be connected live to experts who can provide an engaging and interactive look into their culture. Experiencing a personal connection to individuals from new cultures provides an opportunity for students to understand and respect the differences that may exist.  Leveraging a tool such as Skype allows the students to break down the walls of their classrooms and connect with anyone, anytime.

 

Resources:

Gardner, H. (2009). Five minds for the future. (2nd ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Press.

Reed, J. (n.d.). Global Collaboration and Learning. Welcome To EDTECH™. Retrieved October 11, 2012, from http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2007/09/global-collaboration-and-learning

Skype in the Classroom. Retrieved October 11, 2012 from:  https://education.skype.com/

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