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by Stephen Downes
Feb 04, 2016

The only way is ethics
Miles Berry, An Open Mind, 2016/02/04


I agree that we need to pay attention to ethics when we teach. But as someone who has taught ethics in college and university, I am acutely aware of the fact that there is not one, but many, approaches to ethics. Which one should prevail? let me illustrate with a case in point. Miles Berry advises, "Honesty, integrity and truthfulness... surely should form part of any ethical approach to computing education.... If pupils sign up for online services, they shouldn’t lie about their age or identity..." Really? Are we behaving ethically if we teach children to respond honestly to what we know are dishonest online services? Perhaps an approach based in reciprocity might be more ethical: treat online services with as much respect as they show for you (which, admittedly, isn't much). I think, as an educator, that it is far preferable to encourage students to think about ethics, and to make wise choices. Image: BeaverOnline.


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Workplace Learning-and-Performance -- Four Responsibilities Initiative!
Will Thalheimer, Will at Work Learning, 2016/02/04


The concept of the 'four responsibilities' is intuitively right and I think serves as a good corrective against approaches that focus exclusively on the client (at the expense of the learner) and vice versa. The responsibilities are, respectively: to the client, to the learners, to peers, and to oneself. So far so good. It makes me think of the multiple value propositions I need to balance in my own work. But the definition of the four responsibilities is followed by an absolutely cheesy questionnaire that is frankly an insult to the reader (I score '5' in all dimensions, of course). These authors can do much better than this.

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The Giant Zero
Doc Searles, Doc Searls Weblog, 2016/02/04


Doc Searles has come up with a new metaphor to say many of the same things he's been saying for a number of years now. But it's a good metaphor and there's a really nice bit in the middle of the article where he talks about the different frames we use to talk about the internet - the transport frame, the real estate frame, the publishing frame, etc - and some of the implications using these frames has with regard to our intuitions. "All of them," writes Searles, "mislead us into thinking the Giant Zero is other than what it is: a place without distance, and lots of challenges and opportunities that arise from its lack of distance."

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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