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The TechTrends Professional Ethics articles are offered to AECT members not only for their personal reading but also for use as general purpose instructional materials supporting professional education. They are useful in graduate school seminars and in professional development workshops.

It is often beneficial to provide small groups with just a scenario and the relevant principle. A good purpose for a small group discussion is to develop personal analyses and experience varying points of view. Instructional questions such as these may help produce responses: What do you think has happened? How do you know? What possibilities are there for reaching a resolution? How would you ensure that in the future things are going to be fair and just? This interactive approach ought to build familiarity with the Code as well as insight into its everyday applications.

Association members are expected to adhere to the Code of Professional Ethics, see the Bylaws, Section 16. While the Code sets the standard for the profession, along with many other pressures to do what is considered right, it also continues to develop. The story of how the Code came about, its current state, and its ongoing refinement is reported in a chapter by Yeaman, Eastmond, and Napper (2008). In particular, it is observed that thinking about professional ethics builds awareness of what our technology does (pp. 316-319).


Welliver, P. W. (2001). A code of professional ethics: A guide to professional conduct in the field of educational communications and technology. Bloomington, IN: Association for Educational Communications and Technology. (Available online to AECT members at Scroll down the page then click on Publications.) Yeaman, A. R. J., Eastmond, J. N., & Napper, V. S. (2008). Professional ethics and educational technology. In A. Januszewski & M. Molenda (Eds.), Educational technology: A definition with commentary. (pp. 283-326). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates / Taylor & Francis Group.

Section 1 - Commitment to the Individual Learner

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In fulfilling obligations to the individual, the member:

1. Shall encourage independent action in an individual's pursuit of learning and shall provide access to varying points of view.

2. Shall protect the individual rights of access to materials of varying points of view.

3. Shall guarantee to each individual the opportunity to participate in any appropriate program.

4. Shall conduct professional business so as to protect the privacy and maintain the personal integrity of the individual.

5. Shall follow sound professional procedures for evaluation and selection of materials, equipment, and furniture/carts used to create educational work areas.

6. Shall make reasonable efforts to protect the individual from conditions harmful to health and safety, including harmful conditions caused by technology itself.

Principle 7.8. and 9 at
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Making software choices benefit all children PDF (79.91 KB)  more ] V. Napper 11/18/2013
Protecting learners from technology PDF (82.12 KB)  more ] V. Napper 11/18/2013
Choosing new chairs for a computer lab. PDF (629.13 KB)  more ] V. Napper 11/18/2013
Ethical Issues in Second Life PDF (744.65 KB)  more ] V. Napper 11/18/2013
Commitment To The, Ahem, Learner PDF (89.26 KB)  more ] V. Napper 11/23/2013

Section 2 - Commitment to Society

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In fulfilling obligations to society, the member:

1. Shall honestly represent the institution or organization with which that person is affiliated, and shall take adequate precautions to distinguish between personal and institutional or organizational views.

2. Shall represent accurately and truthfully the facts concerning educational matters in direct and indirect public expressions.

3. Shall not use institutional or Associational privileges for private gain.

4. Shall accept no gratuities, gifts, or favors that might impair or appear to impair professional judgment, or offer any favor, service, or thing of value to obtain special advantage.

5. Shall engage in fair and equitable practices with those rendering service to the profession.

6. Shall promote positive and minimize negative environmental impacts of educational technologies.
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Giving and receiving favors PDF (61.43 KB)  more ] V. Napper 11/18/2013
How can I tell the truth? PDF (62.33 KB)  more ] V. Napper 11/18/2013
Is Janet viewing porn in class!? PDF (126.6 KB)  more ] V. Napper 11/18/2013

Section 3 - Commitment to the Profession

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In fulfilling obligations to society, the member:

1. Shall accord just and equitable treatment to all members of the profession in terms of professional rights and responsibilities, including being actively committed to providing opportunities for culturally and intellectually diverse points of view in publications and conferences.

2. Shall not use coercive means or promise special treatment in order to influence professional decisions of colleagues.

3. Shall avoid commercial exploitation of the person's membership in the Association.

4. Shall strive continually to improve professional knowledge and skill and to make available to patrons and colleagues the benefit of that person's professional attainments.

Principle 5- 10 can be found at:
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
A case study gone awry PDF (669.38 KB)  more ] V. Napper 11/18/2013
Help Wanted PDF (103.07 KB)  more ] V. Napper 11/23/2013
Sharing network security information. PDF (795.1 KB)  more ] V. Napper 11/18/2013

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