TOPIC 4: Reflection

Topic 4 was very diverse in terms of the variety of ethical issues addressed, even though I focussed on ethical issues associated with authenticity of voice in social media use for education, I learnt a lot from others. There were a few posts on the digital divide, I commented on Shaheer’s blog, where I reflected on the divide in more developing countries such as the UK, and the implications for the employment world here. My comment on Hannah’s blog was completely different as I talked about how I thought cyberbullying stemmed from the ability to be anonymous online, which I had mentioned in my blog. Hannah’s blog also made me question the huge numbers of cases of unreported cyberbullying and whether this makes a difference to the effort that goes into reducing it.

Haley and Hannah commented on my blog and raised an important point about where it would be safe to implement social media education for younger children and at what age. This is something I hadn’t really thought about and we discussed that it would be a good idea to have some sort of special site for this where comments and discussions could be moderated and therefore ethical issues such as cyberbullying would be reduced.

I choose not to discuss ethical issues in businesses and social media, but reading Rofini’s blog, I feel I have a better insight. She mentioned privacy as being a significant issue and Michele talked about similar issues, and had also created an interesting diagram on Cacoo, which showed the implications of privacy and social media for business. I also feel privacy is just as important an issue in education as people can easily ‘steal’ the knowledge you post online and claim it as their own.

In the discussions I took part in, and from what I concluded, I still think that some form of education is needed on the ethics of social media, whether it be to warn of the dangers, know how to use it correctly, or to know what is yours online.

On a more personal note through this blog I feel I have really improved my own digital skills. After being inspired by other bloggers, I finally used Powtoon and Piktochart -plus I have embedded my twitter into my blog. I hope on my final blog post, there will be even more improvement!

My comments:




TOPIC 4: The importance of authenticy of voice in using social media for education

Social media has only recently been adopted in education, with supporters promoting their use as part of connectivist learning (Friesen and Lowe, 2012). The PowToon I have created below helps to explain the role of the most popular forms of social media in education.

Obviously however, social media was not initially built to facilitate use in the classroom and because of this it poses a number of ethical issues for educators (Henderson, Auld and Johnson,2014). The most significant for me is authenticity of voice. In my opinion it paves the way to potentially many more ethical issues, which I have demonstrated in the poster  below (Click on the link for larger image).

pikto 3

(Created on

In topic 3 I reflected on how, many people now knowingly or unknowingly have different identities online to offline. This is not unknown but it is often underestimated and has the potential for ethical dangers. Especially in education, authenticity of voice is crucial to trusting the information and therefore learning. Many people, including educators and learners adapt their identity on social media to give themselves a more fitting profile to the role they are portraying. The educators themselves may portray false claims of knowledge but the learners may do the same if they are learning collaboratively, through each other. It is very easy to do this on social media, especially on those designed to mediate interactions with people, such as twitter. Secondly, it also gives people anonymous security that allows them to behave in a way that is not respectful or even lawful towards others..

Where are the particular dangers?

By creating a less authentic voice you have the potential to breach other ethical barriers as demonstrated in the poster. Where this is particularly important is in education in under 18’s where there is particular concern for cyberstalking. This is likely why currently not many educators are using it here, although a recent article by the BBC showed that three quarters of children aged 10-12 had social media accounts so there is a right to be concerned about the potential dangers. And also there are dangers for those who are new to social media, who set up it just for educational purposes- they need to be correctly informed of the risks (Fire et al. 2014).

However it’s not to say social media shouldn’t be used in education. Certainly, this module  has proved to me that using social media is an effective, innovative learning technique but it has also made me more aware of authenticity of voice; it is very easy to create false information and therefore it is very easy to take this information away as true, which as highlighted in the poster can lead to many ethical dangers.


Fire, M., Goldschmidt, R., & Elovici, Y. (2014). Online Social Networks: Threats and Solutions. IEEE Commun. Surv. Tutorials, 16(4), 2019-2036.

Friesen, N. and Lowe, S., 2012. The questionable promise of social media for education: Connective learning and the commercial imperative. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 28(3), pp.183-194.

Henderson, M., Auld, G. and Johnson, N.F., 2014. Ethics of teaching with social media. In ACEC2014. Now It’s Personal. Innovating Education (Trudy Sweeney 30 September-3 October 2014) (pp. 221-227). Australian Council for Computers in Education (ACCE).

Mackinnon, T. ( 2014)‘Social media in education: ethical concerns” [Accessed 19/4/16]

Wankel, C., 2009. Management education using social media. Organization Management Journal, 6(4), pp.251-262.

Header image retrieved from: