Legal Issues Impacting the use of Technology in Education


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Technology and education these days are so interrelated that they are indispensable to each other. Internet is a boon to humanity if used properly. We can get access to several arenas through the use of internet that can aid us in the field of education, such as use of images available across internet, video and audio materials etc. The dilemma we often go through is whether the materials can be used without violating any legal issues as copyright, software piracy etc. Being aware of the several issues cornering the use of technology in education can always be helpful as being ignorant in this regard can be troublesome for the person or the authority concerned. Some issues have been highlighted below:

Copyright issues: Copyright is referred to the legal right given to writers, musicians, filmmakers and all others who are in the process of creating end products via their innovative and original work. Copyright laws are there which provide the original creator ownership of their creation. Videotaping any documentary or series for use in the classroom or in educational fests more than once for example is infringement of copyright laws. Even using images from Internet that may be available for free repeatedly can be considered as copyright violation. In such scenario, “Fair Use” comes in handy as being aware of the guidelines, one can use images or other features of the Internet for teaching, critical reviews and other purposes. Still a thorough read and understanding of the guidelines is always advised before use.

Computer Software Issues:

Among the software issues one of the most common is software piracy. Whenever computer software is purchased the user is generally required to abide by the End- User- License– Agreement (EULA) before installing the software on his computer. The purchase of the software doesn’t make the end user the owner of it. He is just being licensed to use the end product in accordance with EULA and that the software can be used on only one or as many options mentioned in the agreement. There are several types of licenses available that are being used by the schools or educational institutions as single-user, multiple user etc. So depending on the options the end user is entitled to use the software, and misuse of the license will always result in violation and heavy fines may be imposed on the schools or colleges resorting to such.

Internet Filters:

Viewing or downloading inappropriate online content can be seen among school students. The schools must be aware of this aspect and must take care that Internet usage is not done for any such purpose. The institutions must install appropriate software or may be hardware to keep a track of this. This filtering software or hardware generally blocks the sites posting offensive materials, content, images etc.

Issues of File Sharing:

Schools, colleges may be heavily fined for illegal sharing of files as music files, documentaries, films and other such protected works. While sharing of files is an important and useful aspect of modern day technology, resorting to use of a centralized server for such purpose will be considered illegal.

Teachers, schools, colleges must take care of the legal issues and must see to it there are no violations.


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