TF - VI Social, Ethical, Legal, and Human Issues Narrative

All the Technology Master and Leadership classes at Webster University at some level deal with ISTE Technology Facilitation - VI Social, Ethical, Legal, and Human Issues embedded in their assignments. For this narrative, I will primarily focus on three classes: EDTC 5900 Computer Ethics, EDTC 6465 Design of Technology Supported Learning Environments, and EDTC 6022 Designing Accessible Learning Communities to address the standard.

ISTE Technology Facilitation – VI-part A: Social, Ethical, Legal, and Human Issues

Educational technology facilitators understand the social, ethical, legal, and human issues surrounding the use of technology in PK-12 schools and assist teachers in applying that understanding in their practice.

  1. A.Model and teach legal and ethical practice related to technology use.

Based on the description from the Syllabus for EDTC 5900 Compute Ethics focus is on “social ethics in response to its impact on the developing technologies of global societies. It explores the idea that traditional concepts of ethics insist that people in social relationships be treated as ends, in and of themselves, and never as means to the ends of others. Since all technologies evolve from our social relationships, no technology is value-free. Because of the value-laden nature of technology, new technologies are characteristically defined as both socially-determinative and socially derived” (2016).

One of the assignments was to complete a movie analysis summarizing most of the ethical issues as presented in two different movies, compare how each movie questions and answers the same ethical issue, take a stand on the ethical issue, provide a defense, and then apply the ethical issue from my own educational/work environment to teach others about technology, ethics, and society.

The two movies I compared was Stargate and Minority Report. There are two main ethical themes presented in these films: forced indentured servitude and unabashed domination using technology. In both StarGate and Minority Report people were enslaved by the ones using the technology. In StarGate an entire village of people were removed from their homes and placed on a planet to mine the mineral that powered the very technology being used to enslave them. In Minority Report they held captive the Pre-cogs that predicted future murders. They imprisoned people based upon a faulty system, established on individuals with severe brain defects. As stated in the movie Minority Report, “the innocent we used to stop the guilty”. Overall, the clear message of both StarGate and Minority Report is unethical use of technology will crush individualism of people.

Technology must have foundation of proper use up front. In the movie StarGate and Minority Report they both had amazing technology if used properly and for the right reasons. Minority Report had a great idea of stopping murders before they happened, but the entire program was founded by murderers. In StarGate technology was used to “cheat death”. A human host was found by Ra, who took over the body of a young boy to continue living though advanced technology.

In both movies the technology used clearly violates all three of Isaac Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics” (2001).

  1. [Technology] may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. [Technology] must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. [Technology] must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

In the course EDTC 6465 Design of Technology Supported Learning Environments I had to design a professional development module with a plan on how it can be implemented on a larger level in my own learning organization. art of the training module included “summarizing copyright laws related to use of images, music, video, and other digital resources in varying formats” (2001). The purpose of this training module is to train Pre-K teachers to obtain or improve professional knowledge and competencies regarding technology use to make curriculum modifications that support individual student engagement. To increase the opportunity for teachers to develop their knowledge and skills they need to address students’ learning challenges and improve their instruction meeting the needs of the 21st Century learner.

During the 2015-2016 school year, the Pre-k department wanted to utilize more technology in the classrooms, so they asked if I would be willing to be a part of a technology team that would conduct a series of technology workshops throughout the school year. They wanted me to do a workshop on how to embed audio into video for the Pre-k teachers. Based on the article The Benefits of Integrating Technology, "A number of studies have been conducted that show using technology in the classroom to be beneficial to academic achievement" (Ranasinghe and Leisher 2009). Videos are a popular tool used to engage learners and enhance a learning experience. Using videos in the classroom with your students can support their learning by providing a diverse teaching technique for learning. Part of the module developed included copy right laws, copy right infringement, and the Fair Usage Policy.

ISTE Technology Facilitation – VI-part B and E: Social, Ethical, Legal, and Human Issues

  1. B.Applying technology resources to enable and empower learners with diverse backgrounds, characteristics, and abilities.

I am going to refer to EDTC 6022 Designing Accessible Learning Communities to address ISTE Technology Facilitation Standard – VI-part B. One of key assignments for this class was to create an accessible learning community by removing and preventing barriers for students with disabilities. It is vitally important that we provide high-quality, accessible curriculum, instruction, support, and tools to all learners in the community. The Equality Act 2010 replaced previous discrimination law and provides a single piece of legislation covering all the types of discrimination that are unlawful. Schools and Local Authorities must carry out accessibility planning for disabled pupils. The plan identifies how the schools meet the needs of disabled students in response to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice 2014: 0 to 25 years.

The aim of plan is to increase the scope to which students with disabilities can participate in the curriculum. Improve the physical environment of schools to enable students with disabilities to take better advantage of education, benefits, facilities, and services provided. Improve the availability of accessible information to students with disabilities. Increasing access to the curriculum, physical access to the school and access to information particularly to students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The accessibility plan provided an outline of how the school will manage this part of the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision.

ISTE Technology Facilitation – VI-part C and D: Social, Ethical, Legal, and Human Issues

  1. C.Identify and use technology resources that affirm diversity.
  2. D.Promote safe and healthy use of technology resources.

In reference to “identifying and affirming diversity and promoting safe and healthy use of technology resources” (2001), I will refer to the capstone project I completed while taking EDTC 5900 Computer Ethics. The ethical topic I chose to research was the effects of social media on humanity. I chose this particle topic because after watching the Frontline video Digital Nation, I thought it would be interesting to research a little deeper the effects of social media on humans and how we are evolving. Salient points of the project: communication, physiological effects, relationships, and socialization.

Communication is so much more than the simple transmission of data. It is every bit as much a gesture, a look, an expression with the information tucked neatly between the conscious and unconscious mannerisms we use to convey the message. Social media has a way of allowing us to expose our thoughts without providing us the same opportunity to convey ourselves.

Each of us are formed and molded by the environment we are found in, which in turn creates paths through our brains which makes "connections" uniquely ours. Historically, this has been our physical environment where entire cultures can be traced through similar belief systems and function. Today, society has moved on to social media as their environment of choice and for the first-time researchers are saying this may an unprecedented change which may have unplanned effects. Essentially, social media causes us to live in only two dimensions of a three-dimensional world.

We need to be aware of how much influence we are allowing social media on our lives. It should never take the place of our real-life experiences or serve as the foundation of any relationships we value. Any use of social media should simply allow an efficient means to update relationships we have personal and real investment in.

Essentially, technology can make a great servant when kept in its proper place. Otherwise, it can inevitably become a cruel and unyielding taskmaster as the consumers are the merchandise of technology which businesses are using to make immense profits. The blind use of technology can cause a pseudo evolution of humanity leading them to empty relationships, broken communication, and reentry into the dark ages of socialization if technology is not used properly. As an Educational technology facilitator, it is important to “understand the social, ethical, legal, and human issues surrounding the use of technology in PK-12 schools” (2001).

References

Devlin, Dean and Emmerich, Roland (Producers). & Emmerich, Roland (Director). (October 28, 1996). StarGate [Motion picture]. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and Carolco Pictures.

Greenfield, Susan Lady. theguardian. (February 25, 2009). Facebook: 'Environment influences connections in brain' http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/audio/2009/feb/25/greenfield-facebook

Isaac Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics". (2001). http://www.auburn.edu/~vestmon/robotics.html

ISTE Technology Facilitation Standards. (2001). https://worldclassroom.webster.edu/courses/1390239/pages/tf-vi-social-ethical-legal-and-human-issues

Ranasinghe, A.I., Leisher, D. (2009). The Benefit of Integrating Technology into the Classroom. - International Mathematical Forum, No. 40. Retrieved from http://www.m-hikari.com/imf-password2009/37-40-2009/ranasingheIMF37-40-2009.pdf

Spielberg, Steven (Producer & Director). (2002). Minority Report [Motion picture]. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

Technology, Ethics, and Society Syllabus. (2016). https://webster.campusconcourse.com/view_syllabus?course_id=77324&public_mode=1

Outcome 4

Understand and model the social, ethical, legal, and human issues in the ethical use of technology in schools and society [TF-VI]


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