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Open Access

Ethics and Education in the Digital Age: Global Perspectives and Strategies for Local Transformation in Catalonia

  • Don OlcottJr.1Email author,
  • Xavier Carrera Farran2,
  • Eliana Esther Gallardo Echenique3 and
  • Juan González Martínez4
International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education201512:12020059

Received: 15 November 2014

Accepted: 15 March 2015

Published: 15 April 2015


The purpose of this paper is to provide a global analysis and a synthesis of emerging ethical issues, situations, and questions that face educators using digital technologies. The authors offer a conceptual framework centered on the Ethical Context Continuum (ECC) that integrates how society, culture, values, and technology are perceived by people and create ethical choices that consider the potential harm, benefits or both to individuals and groups. A summary of emerging ethical issue areas is discussed and recommendations are offered for adapting global best practices and lessons learned at the local level in Catalonia. The authors conclude that the range and complexity of potential ethical issues relevant to the use of digital technologies will expand in the future. The development of a comprehensive Code of Ethics for the Use of Digital Technologies is strongly recommended across all societal sectors in Catalonia. These proposals and other recommendations can also be applied in other local and national contexts.