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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Electronic Online Services

1995 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in San Diego, California

Background

The global electronic infrastructure (currently known as the Internet) is used by educators, businesses, the government, the military, and other organizations. Schools and libraries may make these online services available to students as they do other print and nonprint media.

Teachers and school library media specialists have a professional responsibility to work together to help students develop the intellectual skills needed to identify, evaluate, and use information sources to meet students' educational goals.

Predicting with certainty what information students might access through online services is impossible; therefore, educators should define guidelines for student exploration and use of electronic information resources. These guidelines should address ethical concerns such as the invasion of privacy; plagiarism of intellectual property; access to pornographic material; use of the networks for illegal activities; as well as intentional dissemination of destructive messages, data, or programs. Guidelines should have as their underlying value the preservation of students' rights to examine and use all information formats. Be it therefore

Resolution

Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English establish guidelines for the student and teacher use of electronic online services which are congruent with NCTE resolutions on intellectual freedom and censorship, with special attention to the Resolution on Censorship and [Nonprint] Media (1990).

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