Unethical computer using behaviors of Turkish high school students
Meltem Kürtüncü, Birsel Canan Demirbağ, Hicran Yildiz
Introduction: As in developed countries all over the world, the internet is also utilized in developing countries in all educational activities to increase the students’ interest and motivation at class, achieve permanence of knowledge, and keep pace with technologic developments. The purpose of this study was to determine the unethical behaviors of high school students in terms of internet use in the field of information technology as well as the factors that influence these behaviors. Materials and Methods: This study was population-based cross-sectional study. Research data were collected between February 13th and June 30th of 2012. The universe of research consisted of 900 students studying at five different high schools located in Zonguldak, Turkey, whereas 643 students (86 girls, 557 boys) constituted the actual sampling. The data collection forms, which we utilized for the purposes of this research, consisted of two separate sections, namely the “Personal Data Form” made-up of questions about the students’ personal data and the “Unethical Use of Information Technologies Scale”. In the data collection process, face-to-face interviews were conducted with the students in their school. Results: The average total score of the scale was determined as 103.70±43.71. We found that the students scored highest in the field of intellectual property (29.16±13.89), whereas the lowest scores could be observed in the sub-aspect of security and quality (21.91±10.10). A significant difference could be ascertained between the information accuracy factor and the students’ age. We discovered that the students’ behaviors in terms of information technologies usage differed significantly according to the students’ age, the class and branch they study, their weekly internet usage time, and the place they lived in. Conclusion: The students’ age is influential on their unethical use of information technologies. Along with basic computer training, teachers are supposed to raise the students’ awareness with regard to ethical issues that arise from computer technologies and are of particular concern to the society, and teach them how they should act in terms of ethical problems.