dimanche 8 juin 2014

Thinking about technologies in the classroom

I have just looked up a new course created at McGill University (Montreal, Canada) called Emerging Technologies for Educational Change (EDPE 640). It is an interesting course that I may take this summer or fall. ButBut, as often … as always, the teacher completely ignores personal choices of his students. As far as I can see, there is no consideration (or time taken to talk) about one’s digital footprint (in this case, Internet footprint).
While the nature of this course suggests that all students will have to "get dirty" and create some form of online presence, it is always astonishing to note that no time or place is taken to talk about how our choices (as teachers or students) may influence our future lives and the lives of our students. There is no mention of privacy online or any other similar idea. Considering that this course is tailored towards teacher learners it looks like an important concept to consider.
Instead, the teacher expects his students to share their ideas (essentially school work) on Twitter, blogs etc. Most probably, all proposed platforms will be commercial products made for profit and using personal user information to do whatever it takes to make money. Application of such technologies in an adult classroom may, in worst case, generate some form of complaints. Using them in the high school or lower is at least unethical.

Don’t get me wrong: I cannot simply judge a course by its description and declare it bad or unethical or anything else. I simply deplore the fact that there is no course that I know of at McGill that addresses the moral, ethical and legal issues related to the use of “disruptive” technologies including Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, Cloud etc.

UPDATE 02/09/2014: I am, finally, taking the above mentioned course now (in the fall semester). More impressions and reflections to come!