Lesson 5: Issues Relating to ICT use

Student teachers will be exposed to various issues that arise as a result of using ICT for our day to day activities. they will have the opportunity to examine various health, safety, security and privacy risks and their mitigation mechanisms. they will also have the opportunity to interrogate and critique various ethical perspectives, equity and inclusivity issues and intellectual property protections available. this is to enable them to appreciate and develop a professional approach to the use of ICT in their career.

Issues Relating to ICT use


2.Intellectual Property Issues

Learning Indicators:

Explain the basic concepts of Ethics (Normative Ethics, Ethical Perspectives etc.)

  1. Explain the basic concepts of Intellectual Property and describe the types of Intellectual Property Protection available (copyrights, patents, etc.).

3.Explain the basic concepts of Plagiarism and Referencing/ Citation.



  • Laudon, et al, (1996)“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 accountable.”
  • Ethics is a system of moral principles. They affect how people make decisions and lead their lives. Ethics is concerned with what is good for individuals and society and is also described as moral philosophy. The term takes its root from the Greek word ethos which can mean custom, habit, character or disposition.

Ethics covers the following :

  • how to live a good life
  • our rights and responsibilities
  • the language of right and wrong
  • moral decisions – what is good and bad?


Normative Ethics

  • Normative Ethics is the study of ethical action. It is the branch of philosophical ethics that investigates the set of questions that arise when considering how one ought to act, morally speaking. … In this context normative ethics is sometimes called prescriptive, rather than descriptive ethics.
  • Normative ethics is the study of how people ought to behave. It is an argumentative discipline aimed at sorting out what behaviours (or rules for behaviour) would be best.

Ethical Perspectives

  • Ethical perspectives are the positions we formulate on what are literally matters of life and death. When we want to find an ethical perspective, this means we are looking to “make a decision” and we want that decision to reflect a certain standard. Depending what the standard (or ethic) is, we will make a decision based on that, or throw out the standard if it does not agree with our lived experiences and plow ahead regardless of the warning the standard is trying to send.
  • For example, if lotteries were “good” then we would all be buying tickets. Now a large number of people buy lottery tickets, but that does not make playing the lottery “good”, because overall, lotteries only benefit a few, and cost most people a lot. You could regulate the lottery that only good comes from it, but you cannot say that the ticket buyer who loses is gaining anything (especially if they blow their paycheck and leave their children looking for food). So overall, lotteries are “not good”, while doing some good, but ethically should be discouraged.

Computer Ethics

  • Computer Ethics: this is the application of classical ethical principles to the use of computer technology.

Importance of Ethics

1.Make society better.

2.Treat everyone equally.

3.Secure meaningful employment.

4.To sustain the proper growth and to minimize the risk of wrong uses.

5.Lessen stress

6..Succeed at business



According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to “plagiarize” means:

  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own
  • to use (author’s production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft
  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source
  • Plagiarism is considered as a form of intellectual theft and fraud. It involves using someone else’s words or ideas and passing them off as your own by not providing credit, either deliberately or accidentally. It can also involve reusing your own work from a previous course, and passing it off as new work.


Words and Ideas

  • The expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property and is protected by copyright laws, just like original inventions. Almost all forms of expression fall under copyright protection as long as they are recorded in some way (such as a book or a computer file).

Images, Videos, and Music

  • Using an image, video or piece of music in a work you have produced without receiving proper permission or providing appropriate citation is plagiarism.
  • The legality of these situations, and others, would be dependent upon the intent and context within which they are produced. The two safest approaches to take in regards to these situations is: 1) Avoid them altogether or 2) Confirm the works’ usage permissions and cite them properly.

Types of Plagiarism

Direct Plagiarism/Verbatim/Copy-and-Paste Plagiarism: Taking another person’s ideas word for words without giving proper citation or acknowledgment.

Self-plagiarism/ Auto Plagiarism: When you use parts of your previous work (e.g. a paper, a literature review or a data set)

Mosaic Plagiarism: Copying and Pasting different pieces of text together to create a kind of “mosaic” or “patchwork” of other researchers’ ideas

Although the result is a completely new piece of text, the words and ideas aren’t new.

Accidental Plagiarism: This happen in such cases like; forgetting to cite sources, misquoting sources, or paraphrasing sources without giving credit where credit is due.

Buying Assignments: Buying assignments is another new trend of plagiarism in the academic realm


Consequences of Plagiarism

  • As a professional writer, to plagiarize is a serious ethical and perhaps cause legal action.
  • Plagiarism can ruin one’s academic carrier. Thus, the victim may lose the ability to publish.
  • Copyright infringement/ violation
  • Ruined reputation and potentially the end of your career

In the case of students, plagiarism can result in:

  1. i. getting zero in an assignment
  2. failing the course

iii suspension or expulsion

How to Avoid Plagiarism

  • The first step to avoid plagiarism is to know what plagiarism is, this is the greatest way you can avoid plagiarism. To avoid plagiarism, simply follow these two steps:
  • Quote, paraphrase or summarize the words or ideas from someone else.
  • Give credit to the original source by including a citation in the text and the reference list.


Referencing is the process of acknowledging the sources you have used in writing your essay, assignment or piece of work. It allows the reader to access your source documents as quickly and easily as possible in order to verify, if necessary, the validity of your arguments and the evidence on which they are based



  • You identify sources by citing them in the text of your assignment (called citations or in-text citations) and referencing them at the end of your assignment (called the reference list or end-text citations).

Proper Referencing

  • To reference successfully, it is essential that, as a matter of course, you systematically note down full details of author, date, title and publication details of any material you use at the time you use it. For web pages, e-journals and e-books, write down the URL address and the date that you accessed the source.

Importance of Accurate Referencing

  • By referring to the works of established authorities and experts in your subject area, you can add weight to your comments and arguments. This helps to demonstrate that you have read widely, and considered and analysed the writings of others. Remember, good referencing can help you attain a better grade or mark (in your project work). Most importantly, good referencing is essential to avoid any possible accusation of plagiarism.

Referencing Styles

There are several different styles of referencing among them include:

  • APA
  • MLA
  • Oxford
  • Harvard
  • Chicago

APA Citation Style

  • APA (American Psychological Association) Citation Style
  • APA style uses the author-date system for in-text citations. In the in-text citations, you should cite the last names of all the authors and the publication year. The APA referencing style is an “author-date” style, so the citation in the text consists of the author(s) and the year of publication given wholly or partly in round brackets.
  • Use only the surname of the author(s) followed by a comma and the year of publication. Include page, chapter or section numbers if you need to be specific, for


Intellectual Property

  • Intellectual property is the product of the human intellect including creativity concepts, inventions, industrial models, trademarks, songs, literature, symbols, names, brands etc.
  • Intellectual property rights are like any other property right. They allow creators, or owners, of patents, trademarks or copyrighted works to benefit from their product which was initially an idea that developed and crystallized. They also entitled them to prevent others from using, dealing or tampering with their product without prior permission from them.

Forms of Intellectual Property Rights

  • There are many types of intellectual property rights three of these are discussed here, these include; Patents, Trademarks, and Copyright Laws. Find out more about others.


Copyright is a set of utmost rights granted by the law of a jurisdiction to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work

Valid Copyright Notice

  • A copyright notice should contain:
  • the word “copyright”
  • a “c” in a circle (©)
  • the date of publication, and
  • the name of either the author or the owner of all the copyright rights in the published work.
  • For example : Copyright © 2020 by okagomash


Patent is an exclusive right granted by law to an inventor or assignee to prevent others from commercially benefiting from his/her patented invention without permission, for a limited period of time generally 20 years in exchange for detailed public disclosure of patented invention.

Importance of Patents

  • Patents provide incentives to individuals by recognizing their creativity and offering the possibility of material reward for their marketable inventions. These incentives encourage innovation, which in turn enhances the quality of human life.

Patents Protection

  • Patent protection means an invention cannot be commercially made, used, distributed or sold without the patent owner’s consent. Patent rights are usually enforced in courts that, in most systems, hold the authority to stop patent infringement

Rights of Patent Owners

  • A patent owner has the right to decide who may – or may not – use the patented invention for the period during which it is protected. Patent owners may give permission to, or license, other parties to use their inventions on mutually agreed terms


  • A trademark is a distinctive sign that identifies certain goods or services produced or provided by an individual or a company. Its origin dates back to ancient times when craftsmen reproduced their signatures, or “marks”, on their artistic works or products of a functional or practical nature. Over the years, these marks have evolved into today’s system of trademark registration and protection.

Trademarks to be Registered

  • Trademarks may be one or a combination of words, letters and numerals.
  • They may consist of drawings, symbols or three dimensional signs, such as the shape and packaging of goods.
  • In addition to identifying the commercial source of goods or services, several other trademark categories also exist.

Privacy and Security

  • Data Security and Data Privacy are often used interchangeably, but there are distinct differences:
  • Data Security protects data from compromise by external attackers and malicious insiders.
  • Data Privacy governs how data is collected, shared and used.

Importance of Data Privacy

  • Data is one of the most important assets of a company.
  • With the rise of the data economy, companies find enormous value in collecting, sharing and using data.
  • Companies such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon have all built empires over the data economy.
  • Transparency in how businesses request consent, abide by their privacy policies, and manage the data that they’ve collected is vital to building trust and accountability with customers and partners who expect privacy

Threats to Computer System

  • A computer system threat is anything that leads to loss or corruption of data or physical damage to the hardware and/or infrastructure.
  • Knowing how to identify computer security threats is the first step in protecting computer systems.
  • The threats could be intentional, accidental or caused by natural disasters.

Computer Crime

Cyber crime, or Computer-Oriented Crime: is a crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target. Cyber crime can be defined as: “Offences that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim or cause physical or mental harm, or loss, to the victim directly or indirectly, using modern telecommunication networks such as Internet (networks including chat rooms, emails, notice boards


Types of Computer/Cyber crime

  • Fraud: Fraud is a general term used to describe a cyber crime that intends to deceive a person in order to gain important data or information. Fraud can be done by altering, destroying, stealing, or suppressing any information to secure unlawful or unfair gain.
  • Hacking: Hacking means an illegal interference into a computer network or our personal email id.
  • Cyber Terrorism: These crimes involve politically-motivated attacks to targets such as government websites or commercial networks. Such attacks are designed to be large in scale, and to produce fear and panic among the victim population.
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