Ethics in Grade Schools

A homework assignment in CS 3604 (Professionalism in Computing) in Fall 1998 challenged the participants to develop a curriculum and lessons plans for teaching "Computer Ethics" in grade schools. The three best submissions are reproduced here:

The assignment:


The Commonwealth of Virginia is planning to begin requiring students in grades 5 and 8 to attainment "Standards of Learning" in Computer/Technology. Missing from these lists of skills is any mention of an understanding of the the ethics of the use of computers. Montgomery County has developed a set of Appropriate Usage Agreements that students and parents must sign before the student can use the school computers.


  1. What are the special problems of ethics and conduct that are potentially associated with using a computer in grade schools?
  2. How would you propose to teach a code of computer ethics/conduct/practice to students in grade schools?
  3. What specific topics would you address?
  4. How would you present these topics in a manner that grade school students would understand, appreciate and remember?
  5. When is it inappropriate to introduce issues that may arouse a student's interest in a topic?
  6. Should these topics be presented in a single class or should they become a part of several classes when specific topics are covered? For example, should Netiquette be a part of a class on the Internet, or a part of a more general class?
  7. Develop lesson plan(s), including purpose, objectives, topical overview, activities, readings, projects, and assignments for either grade 5 or grade 8.

Last updated 98/11/20
© J.A.N. Lee, 1998.