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Dave E. Marcial, Ph.D.
Silliman Online University Learning
Silliman University
Gereo Patromonio
University Graduate Programs
Silliman University

echnological advancement has offered numerous modern equipment of varying form and size in our
life. From personal computers used on top of tables to mobile computers that can fit on our laps and
can be used to run on batteries lasting hours of usage making us to be mobile while computing
hence, the coining of mobile computing. The Internet doesnt have to be wired. WIFI technology allows
mobile computing to be hooked on the Internet as well, allowing people to access the net without having
to be wired to a telephone company, hence the coining of wireless computing. Computer technology has
widened its development and applied on gadgets like cellular phones and tablets. Cellular phones that
were once used only for simple messaging and calling have now incorporated the features of browsing the
net that allows us to interact in social media, hence the coining of smart phones. Tablets are gadgets that
capture the features of a laptop but on a significantly smaller and lighter version and most companies
today have incorporated features of smart phones as well, hence the coining of phablet. The list goes on
and will go on. Development in technology never ceases to be contented. And while sectors of society,
including the education sector are harnessing the benefits of technological advancement, we are all
confronted with issues relating to social and ethical standards. With the advent of Internet generation no
one is exempted. It is safe to say that for every advancement or new technology may pose new risks. The
Internet as an example is an avenue rich in information that certainly can help improve the human life, not
only through research but to almost all facets of life. The issue of risk starts to set in because there is no
law that governs the net. It is a free world so to speak. The typical scenario that poses the risk is when one
is confronted to downloading movies from unauthorized websites. The use of gadgets like a smartphone
while driving a vehicle, or the use of someones work posted on the net without citing the author, or
making an application for mobile gadgets that will automatically use the owners phonebook. These are
just a few of the many issues that confronted netizens today in the use of ICT. And accordingly, these are
not supposed the issues should people be conscious enough to practice social and ethical standards.
Hence, the social and ethical standards that were already defined are more or less the same social and
ethical standards for ICT.
From her book A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computing Technology, Sara
Baase (2013) referred ethics as the study of what it means to do the right thing. Furthermore, she
explained in the following manner:
The ethical theory assumes that people are rational and make free choices. Neither of
these conditions is always and absolutely true. People act emotionally, and they make
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mistakes. A person is not making a free choice when someone else is pointing a gun at
him. Some argue that a person is not making a free choice in a situation where she
might lose a job. However, free choice and use of rational judgment are capacities and
characteristics of human beings, and they are reasonably assumed as the basis of ethical
theory. We take the view that the individual is, in most circumstances, responsible for
his or her actions.
Additionally, Tengku Mohd T. Sembok (2003) in his paper presentation Ethics of Information and
Communications Technology (ICT) quoted Laudon et. al. (1996) and defined Ethics are moral standards
that help guide behaviour, actions, and choices. Ethics are grounded in the notion of responsibility (as free
moral agents, individuals, organizations, and societies are responsible for the actions that they take) and
accountability (individuals, organizations, and society should be held accountable to others for the
consequences of their actions). In most societies, a system of laws codifies the most significant ethical
standards and provides a mechanism for holding people, organizations, and even governments
Sembok emphasized that definitions and context mentioned above also applies ICT ethics. In a
world where information and communication technology has come to define how people live and work,
and has critically affected culture and values, it is important for us to review ethical issues, as well as social
responsibility, in the Asia-Pacific region. He also added that countries in the Asia-Pacific regions have
diverse cultural and political beliefs that may affect in synthesizing the above context. This reality, he
emphasized, that it calls for a formal framework workable in the area. This is a difficult task because of
the diversity in creed, class, caste, dialect, language, culture and race throughout the region. Moreover,
the issue of ICT ethics takes on added significance as the region struggles with the dynamics of
globalization and the current political environment after the September 11 incident.
Because of the realities Sembok presented, he further pushed for the adoption of UNESCOs InfoEthics Programme and reiterated the following:
The development of digital technologies and their application in worldwide
information networks are opening vast new opportunities for efficient access to and use
of information by all societies. All nations can fully benefit from these opportunities on
the condition that they meet the challenges posed by these information and
communication technologies. Thus, UNESCOs Info-Ethics Programme was established
for the principal objective of reaffirming the importance of universal access to
information in the public domain, and to define ways that this can be achieved and
maintained in the Global Information Infrastructure. It seeks to address the areas of
ethical, legal and societal challenges of cyberspace, as well as privacy and security
concerns in cyberspace. It aims to encourage international cooperation in the following
Promotion of the principles of equality, justice and mutual respect in the emerging
Information Society;
Identification of major ethical issues in the production, access, dissemination,
preservation and use of information in the electronic environment; and
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Provision of assistance to Member States in the formulation of strategies and policies

on these issues.

Based on the interview of Allan Kakinda from eLearning Africa News (2011), Kakindas experience is
a living testimony that social skill is indeed important in the fabric of education with the advent of ICT.
Likewise, Stephen Ibaraki, founder and chair of the IP3 Global Industry Council, in his January 28, 2013
article on Social Issues in Computing have enumerated the following statistics:
For 2013:
There are over 2.4B Internet Users representing over 2.5 Trillion USD in commerce
1.7B mobile phones shipped; over 40% are smartphones
6.5B mobile phone subscriptions
Countries such as China and India, each having over 1B mobile subscribers
ICT accounting for over 20% of GDP growth in some countries
Every 10% increase in broadband penetration produces a 1.3% gain in economic growth
90% of the worlds data were created in the last two years. There is now over 2 Zettabytes
of data created and replicated (1 Zettabyte is one billion terabytes).
For 2016:
Over 4B Internet users anticipated, due to the wide proliferation of internet enabled mobile
phones and smart devicesthe expensive smartphones/tablets of 2013 will be the
inexpensive commodity phones/devices of the future
Estimated 2.5B mobile shipments with over 60% being smartphones/tablet inspired devices
If we look around, most high school and college students are consumers of these gadgets. And
considering Ibarakis statistics, a conclusion can be drawn that there is a significant opportunity in
education for it to utilize and expand the delivery of learning. Using ICT in education with the current
trend is like giving every student the opportunity to learn without having to be in the classroom and in the
presence of the teacher.
In doing so, teachers must also be equipped with the right competency that will complement the
aforesaid trend and opportunity. We have learned that UNESCO has come up with implementing
guidelines for teachers to acquire ICT competency. In the national context, social and ethical skill is one of
the skill domains described in the Philippines National ICT Competency Standards (NICS) for Teachers. This
domain includes competencies related to social, ethical, legal and human issues, and community linkage. It
has four (4) competency standards, such as 1) Understand and observe legal practices in the use of
technology, 2) Recognize and practice ethical use of technology in both personal and professional levels, 3)
Plan, model and promote a safe and sound technology-supported learning environment, and 4) Facilitate
equitable access to technology that addresses learning, social and cultural diversity. See table 1 for the list
of competency indicators of each competency standard of technology operations and concepts as
described by NICS.

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Table 1. Competency Indicators of ICT Social and Ethical Skill
Standard 1: Understand and observe legal practices in the use of technology
1. Understand the legal implications of Software Licenses and Fair Use
2. Understand and explain the basic concepts of Intellectual Property Rights
3. Differentiate and identify the Copyright, Trademark, Patent of various products
Standard 2: Recognize and practice ethical use of technology in both personal and professional levels
1. Detect plagiarism in student work
2. Properly acknowledge sources used in own work
3. Be an Anti Piracy advocate for all products with IPR like music, data, video and software
4. Advocate the responsible use of various technologies like computers, cell phones, etc.
5. Show respect for privacy and cyber etiquette, phone etiquette and similar use of technology
Standard 3: Plan, model and promote a safe and sound technology-supported learning environment
1. Demonstrate proper handling of computer devices and use of applications
2. Monitor how students use the computer specifically on software, hardware, computer games, and
internet activities
3. Maintain a clean and orderly learning environment for students
4. Promote and implement rules and regulations on properly using computers
5. Accurately report malfunctions and problems with computer software and hardware
Standard 4: Facilitate equitable access to technology that addresses learning, social and cultural diversity
1. Design class activities to minimize the effect on students being disadvantaged or left-out
2. Help minimize the effects of the digital divide by providing access to digital materials for all
3. Prepare lessons and activities appropriate to the level of learning and cultural background of
4. Adapt activities using specialized hardware and software for physically disadvantaged students
Source: Philippines NICS for Teachers
Baase, S. (2013). A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Computing Technology. USA: Pearson.
Sembok, T. M. (1993). Ethics of Information and Communications Technology. UNESCO Bangkok Asia and
Pacific Regional Bureau for Education. Retrieved from pacific/239_325ETHICS.PDF.
Ibaraki, S. (2013, January 28). ICT E-Skills and Professionalism in 2013. Social Issues in Computing.
Retrieved from

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