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Posts Tagged ‘rights

We have all probably experienced this and our reaction might be similar. But the effect and impact of clicking on a paywalled article is not that simple.

The experience and reaction is shared if you consider only your perspective and what is immediately obvious.

It is not if you consider the possible metrics for the newspaper, e.g., clicks (successful or not; which headlines work better), insidious ads (e.g., those running in the background or whitelisted by your adblocker), records of paying and non-paying visits, cookies that track what grabs your attention (e.g., op pieces over fluff), etc.

In the longer term, the newspaper gets something out of you — data about your habits and preferences and maybe even some ad revenue — even if you do not get what you want from a click.

That is why one of my concerns of late is our digital rights and privacy [1] [2]. I am even more concerned when the target audience is school-aged kids and young adult learners in institutes of higher education. They are tracked as they access content and learning management systems.

Some of the tracking is necessary, e.g., to take note of where the learners were last at and where they might need to go next. But some tracking is not, e.g., if data is mined by third parties without the knowledge of the learners or their parents.

Clicking on a link to get what you want (or to be denied access) might seem like a simple transaction. However, there are insidious transactions that we might not know or care about. This is like throwing plastic bags away and not knowing or caring where they end up.

We need to know and act better. We need to be more digitally and information literate. If the agencies that guide us do not have compasses that point north [example], we need to teach and police ourselves.

Is it Opposite Day? That was one of my reactions when I read and reread this tweet.

There might be some context lost in a 140-character tweet. I read the tweets around it, but found none.

If this is “food” for thought, I am not swallowing uncritically.

Should one lead learners by teaching them their duty, but not their rights? Can we even consider teaching them responsibility without freedom?

To do this means to school students into obeying and following. This is about enculturation and indoctrination, period.

Education has a function greater than schooling. It is about liberating people from ignorance and fear. It is about letting people know they have a right to consume and create, collaborate and critique, communicate and change. It is about giving them the freedom to explore, question, and grow.

Educating for the future is the same as educating in the past and educating now. It is about teaching rights as much as duty. It is about teaching freedom as much as responsibility. It is about focusing on the individual so that the collective benefits.

You can lead learners by the nose or you can lead them by their hearts. The first way is unquestioning; the second relies on questions.

And since we are on the topic of leadership, here is a poignant thought from a fictional president.

True leadership is not running away from those who disagree with you, but about embracing them.

Where the tweeted line of thought goes, I dare not follow. My mind and heart do not allow it because I am educated, not just schooled. It is my right to point out a wrong because it is also my duty. It is my responsibility to free critical thought.


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