Sunday, November 9, 2008

Distance learning and computer ethics

A virtual second life sounds a little scary to me - I'm more into the here and now than some made up fantasy world. I don't know, I think folks that spend too much time on that should be psychology evaluated. More wireless - I'd like to see that at my schools, but with budget cuts and mandates to spend more money on shiny new textbooks - I don't see that happening any time soon. Hey, what can I say, I'm a realist. Revolutionizing high school - I'm all for combining solid teaching with technology. I don't think they are exclusive of one another.

Distance learning - well, as indicated in the article it was Master's and Graduate students (a very self-directed group) who were evaluated, this is a very small proportion of the population. Elementary, middle, and high school students (even some under graduate students) probably would not fare as well. I struggle with it - I enjoy having the teacher on site. During Dr. Crocker's class, SLO dominates the discussion because A. there are seven of us and B. he is in the room to discuss with us. We all know how it is to have the professor at a different site - we're not paying attention, checking email, browsing the Internet, etc (everyone is guilty of it and we all know it). I cannot honestly say that I feel it would be in the best interest of students - convenient, most definitely. The instructors we have had on site have not particularly cared for the technology or the distance learning (as reported to the class).

Computer ethics in the workplace and school - as technology continues to broaden, I think this becomes even more difficult. I've known teacher, administrators, board members that have been dismissed for viewing inappropriate materials (access in too easy and apparently too tempting for these folks). As for students - wow exposed to too much at a very young age. Whether we like to acknowledge it or not - they are viewing some really inappropriate things. Keeping up with the "banned" cites and filtering materials at districts and county offices is increasingly difficult. Educating students and young folks on who has access to what they put out there is critical. What they may think is harmless information for their friends, can end up in the hands of a criminal.

Email ethics seem like they should be common sense. I feel someone is either an ethical person, or they're not - email is just another area in life that pertains to this. It's not very often that I receive something inappropriate or offensive - maybe people just know me and what I respond to.

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