Ethics-related technology policies in schools

Brian J. Dill, Ronald E. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Educators often face ethical and legal issues with the use of information and communication technology (ICT), especially when assigning digital content to their students. Institutional policies regarding the boundaries of acceptable ICT use can help educators deal with these issues. In this article, the authors apply neo-institutional theory to the diffusion of institutional policies on the ethics of ICT use. To evaluate this conceptual analysis, data are presented from three sources : a nationwide survey of U. S. schools, a 23-country survey of principals of upper secondary schools, and a content analysis of 46 acceptable use policies from school web sites in six countries. The predicted homogeneity among schools with regard to their ethical policies was found among web sites, within the United States, and to some extent, cross-nationally. Across countries the pattern in the adoption of ethical policies by schools was more heterogeneous and apparently idiosyncratic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-339
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Science Computer Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Education
  • Ethics
  • Internet
  • Policy
  • Social implications
  • Society

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Law


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