Creativity, Integrity and Technology

As a technology educator in a 1:1 high school, one of my goals is to promote the use of technology in a way that encourages integrity and creativity.  Too often, students are using technology (laptops, tablets, smart phones etc.) for what I describe as non-purposeful communication via Facebook, Skype, etc. Other times, students are using technology to consume media produced by others by watching videos on YouTube, Hulu or Netflix or even downloading copyrighted material using sites like Mega.

Recently, I addressed this issue with our students at an assembly and emphasized that not only should students act with integrity and follow the school's acceptable use policies, but they should also use technology creatively.  In terms of acting with integrity, this is something I described as what students do with technology, "when no one is watching".   I also emphasized the need students for to consume less media and to create more.  As a school, we want them to know that "digital expression is the new literacy and that creativity is the new fluency." 

I highlighted these points by showing creative examples of technology use in our school and encouraged all of our students to do something great with technology.  In as much as I had a strong message to send about the consequences of the unacceptable use of technology as it relates to downloading torrents, harassing or bullying others on-line, etc., I didn't want the take away to be, "don't do this" and "don't do that".  The real message I shared was, "as a school, we challenge you to be creative and share all the great things that you are capable of doing using technology".  It was a message well received by students and teachers alike.  Now the challenge is to act upon it.

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