Another dot in the blogosphere?

Posts Tagged ‘ethics

The video embedded in the tweet below went viral recently.

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Educators would readily repeat the message of grit or persistence or resilience.

I was about to add to the chant by pointing out that the life lesson was not foreseen, planned, or scaffolded. This does not help teachers who operate by standards, curriculum, or otherwise being told what to do.

As I hesitated on clicking the publish button in WordPress, this Atlantic news article provided insights on why the mother bear and her cub made such a desperate dash. They were startled by an aerial drone that sought to capture footage.

The lesson about struggling and failing to learn about grit and persistence is important, but it is the obvious and low-hanging fruit. The bears would have been put in that danger had the documentarians operated more ethically. Therein lies an equally important but less obvious lesson.

Despite the doubling of tweet length, this one (archived version) needs more context.

The sharing session might focus on WHAT the context is and HOW the supposed system auto-magically does this.

But I wonder if it will explore the WHY of doing this. Answering this question explores the ethics of incorporating such technology. This might include what data is collected and how algorithms run to make summary decisions.

Let us not forget where others have gone or are going before, i.e., how Facebook and Google are under the microscope for not being more careful with student data.

You just know that a blog entry with content like “plenty of educators, especially administrators, wouldn’t know a blog from their elbow, let alone have a clue how they might use Twitter or Ning in their districts” is fishing for something.

The author of that blog had a few points to make: 1) many educators don’t know what Web 2.0 is, much less how to integrate it, 2) Web 2.0 is important to learners now and in the future (even if Web 2.0 evolves to something else), and 3) we are not putting enough technology in the hands of learners so that they learn more authentically.

So my response to his question “Social media… dirty word or essential skill?” is obvious. It is an essential skill. But I’d add that students also need to be information literate and socially literate (I say more of this in a book chapter that I have written).

They also need essential attitudes and values. Why? Web 2.0 is a sociotechnical phenomenon. The technology enables users to generate and publish content easily. But users must also want to do this, and as they do, they must do so ethically and responsibly.

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