Education / Ethics / New Technology

I’m a pretty big cheerleader of our sister site, Classroom 2.0 and belong and participate in several groups there. Much like our Ning but focused on technology and its application for education.

Recently participated in a very enlightened discussion there (and sprawling, as is all thought). I urge you to take a read.

I received a number of personal emails about what I wrote, in particular this below and I repost it here for comment or just your own reading. Sums up a little of what I believe is the power of the EDUCATOR.

As a question to throw out there – what do you see as the ethical dangers of new technology for our students and in your classroom in particular?

I really, fundamentally reject “concrete” and “framework” when talking about ethics and the responsibility of a teacher in this regard. I am glad Connie mentioned David Warlick’s “seek truth, minimize harm, be accountable, respect and protect,”. This to me is enough, that educators desire to be ethical and guide students.
Things go wrong when there are guidelines unless when applied to very, very specific situations. I prefer my ethics from the ground up — organically evolved by the actions, every day actions of educators. No gatekeeper, just that feeling of “doing the right thing”.

Yes, technology is daunting and there are some very real and scary implications. But I prefer open access with educators as facilitators, discussing this with students and with education departments, fostering this awareness in teachers. But no Dos and Don’ts list for me. Ethics to me, is something that always comes in the backdoor.

Education is for a person to help others, through their own increase in “awareness”. It is a light that shines a way to others. A path that leads to community and humanity. If as my fav. poet Gyorgy Faludy said, “the library is the headquarters of civilization”, I feel I.T. is the ecosphere of the mind. It is imperative that both good and bad dwell there (for its own evolution) but that we be eternally vigilant.

I think my whole arguement can be summed up in that old phrase, “cultivez votre jardin”, “tend your own garden”, small steps make a difference, like that story of the boy flinging starfish back into the ocean.

Thanks Connie for the Wilson link, I’m gonna look the moment I have a moment.


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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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