This weeks debate had me thinking how horrible humankind truly is, especially if the technology we use often has been proven to have prejudicial views already seen daily in our society.
Amy did a great job of pulling the main points from the agree & disagree side of this weeks debate topic “Technology is a force for equity in society” in her blog this week!
My naive outlook sometimes has me thinking that of course only the best intentions are had…
The disagree team certainly had me questioning how great technology truly is. They provided many statistics and facts about the frequency of racism, sexism, etc., that many programs show, as well as the oppression that occurs even more so because of the financial divide that occurs from technology.
This article provided by the disagree group discusses how it isn’t necessarily the technology that is racist or biased, rather it is learned from human behaviour. I completely agree with this article because humans are the ones building the technology, so it would make sense that it will be flawed and have some of the negative attributes we see in humans. Now, this article definitely goes over my head because I do not understand how algorithms work and how an algorithm can have the ability to be fixed such to not show prejudice. I do agree though that this is something that can be worked on with time.
This guardian article focused exclusively on the sexism that occurs within technology, in that voices are frequently female, and also can be quite dangerous as location is becoming nearly impossible to keep secret with the different applications in which are used. Again, negative attributes of humans which are mirrored into the programs we build.
“But we should also be thinking bigger: we must avoid reproducing sexism in system design. “ – Lizzie O’Shea
These books are great cautionary tales, similarly to Black Mirror, of the dramatic and sometimes dangerous impacts that technology can have.
Before you start thinking we are all doomed:
So I know I have typically fallen on the side of “anti” technology in our debates so far, and I would say this week I ended up the same way. The agree group shared this great article which listed various amazing positive uses of technology, including Open Educational Resources which can be downloaded, edited, and shared to support teaching and learning. These types of resources can and should be used in rural Saskatchewan to help support learning. So, yes there are definitely great uses for technology.
There were many fantastic blogs this week, and it was a bit surprising to me how many people were wavering between sides in the debate. Nicole does a wonderful job of comparing fair and equal in her post this week, and in no surprise she shows how imperative relationship building and the teacher’s role is in ensuring that technology is used in a way to help build equity. This whole class I have had the feelings, and Shelby nailed the same ones, of I totally see the pros to technology and the positive impacts it can make, BUT I DON’T THINK WE ARE THERE YET!
What I have gathered from this course and from our debates is that there absolutely are great uses of technology in the classroom and in society. Careful consideration needs to be taken by both parents and teachers to ensure:
A) Children/Students use technology responsibly, especially privacy and location settings.
B) Technology is used to enhance learning further not just to replace what pen/paper can do.
C) We model the positive impacts which can be made from technology. Don’t avoid it, rather use it alongside them.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this course, and the major strides I have made in my personal social media use! There were some major learning curves along the way and thanks to everyone for following my progress!