Get the knowledge and resources you need to guide students through the tough questions that reside in the gray areas of humans’ relationship with the gadgets, apps and tools that permeate our lives.
More and more, people are waking up to the notion that the technology we hold in our hands each day is not a neutral tool that individual users control. The facade has been cracking for years amid accusations of election interference, with the public being introduced to the complexities of hacking, the concept of bot accounts, the larger threat of information warfare, and more. The rise in rhetoric around “fake news” has social media companies examining their role in the spread of misinformation, the public asking who checks the fact-checkers and everyone from politicians to tech conglomerates wondering if, when and how information regulation needs to happen.
Amid this backdrop, it has become clear that society needs thoughtful, empathetic digital citizens who can navigate the important ethical questions at the intersection of technology and humanity. This book is designed to help students consider the systems and structures in which they spend so much of their time, asking them to look at the technology around them through a critical lens.
Focusing on six big ethical questions being discussed in the technology sector and larger society today, chapters include:
- Key vocabulary you and your students will encounter in your investigation of each topic.
- A short summary of the current research and viewpoints on the topic from leading experts in their fields.
- News articles exploring the ethical questions playing out in society today.
- Focused research questions that students can use to explore the various aspects of the ethical dilemma.
- Stories of educators who are engaging students with lessons around tech ethics.
- A “Try This” section with instructional strategies for helping students navigate open-ended questions.
There are no clear right or wrong answers to the ethical issues presented inside these pages. But if you ascribe to the idea that technology is not neutral, if your students are already users of various technologies and if you understand that many of our students will go on to tech-related careers, is it ever too soon to begin talking about the ethics of technology with them?
A Powerful Resource for Supporting Students in a Digital World
Dr. Kristen Mattson’s newest publication, Ethics in a Digital World, addresses a critical issue for educators today--supporting students as they navigate an increasingly complex digital landscape. This book picks up where Dr. Mattson left off in her 2017 publication, Digital Citizenship in Action: Empowering Students to Engage in Online Communities, and is written in the same approachable, informative writing style that is sure to engage and inspire readers. Whether you are a veteran middle school or high school teacher or just starting your career in education, there is something for everyone in this book. Each chapter is formatted in a way to support a deeper understanding of tech ethics while providing helpful resources and extensions as well as engaging, relevant standards-aligned activities that can easily be utilized in the classroom. Dr. Mattson understands the needs and interests of secondary students, and this expertise is evident in the activities she designs and shares in her books. The activities from her first book have become a staple in the work I do with middle school students in my library; they have prompted some powerful, memorable discussions, so I am excited to try the new activities and ideas she presents in Ethics in a Digital World. This book is a must-read for educators today and should be available in every middle school and high school library’s professional development collection.
Essential Digital Decoder Ring for Educators and Families
Ethics in a Digital World is an eminently usable guide for educators, parents, and caregivers to empower children with the knowledge, skills, and agency to not only survive, but thrive in technology-centric culture. Not only does Mattson provide a decoder ring to clearly explain the complexity of topics like misinformation, artificial intelligence, and disintermediation, she offers straightforward ways for adults to help children explore and understand them (even if adults may not understand these topics themselves.)In her book, Dr. Mattson does three things very well. Teaching digital citizenship and media literacy can feel overwhelming, particularly as technologies and our culture evolve in real time. First, by focusing on six areas of digital ethics, she helps educators ‘chunk’ key topics, focusing on essential challenges. To build background knowledge, she provides a concise summary of key ideas supported by current research and examples. These topics are rich and complex enough to offer any educator (or parent) a way to connect them to student interests and learning.Second, she offers educators and students choice by providing a variety of arguments and claims for each topic, not to mention documenting ‘what the research says’ and offering articles which further explore that argument. Mattson provides a valuable service not only by doing some of the homework for adults, but providing practical strategies for discussing and researching these topics in the classroom. To her credit, she embraces student agency and choice, recognizing the need for students to make their own sense of what’s happening around them.Finally, Mattson achieves what few educational authors can do -- wedding clear arguments and thorough research to practical instructional applications. At once, Ethics in a Digital World succeeds as two books. On one level, Mattson offers a plain English overview of some wickedly complicated topics, nimbly parsing research, arguments and examples to help adults understand these issues. But rather than simply explicating the problems and then tacking on some discussion questions, Mattson designs each chapter as a toolkit. Using a consistent design, she builds (or complements) the educator’s knowledge and confidence while offering concrete ideas, solutions, and strategies for translating it into instruction.While the pace of change will likely date this book by the next presidential election, Ethics in a Digital World is what educators need right now -- a clear and useful guide to teaching and learning in a digital era.
This book is for every teacher, not just technology teachers!
Based on the title, it would be easy to think that this book is geared toward technology teachers; that would be a mistake for all the non-technology teachers who would then miss out on this excellent read! Each chapter of this book focuses on a unique aspect of the digital world and the ethical questions that have arisen accordingly. Dr. Mattson includes background info on the topic, summaries of relevant research (fascinating stuff!), and connections to content area curriculum making it easy for teachers to see how they can incorporate these critical topics in their classroom. My favorite part about this book is the way Dr. Mattson presents multiple perspectives on each ethical issue. She acknowledges that when it comes to questions of ethics, there is often no fully right or fully wrong answer, and encourages us all to dig deeper, look closer, and investigate all sides. These are the classroom discussions and research inquiries that will help our students become better consumers, creators, communicators, and innovators in this ever-evolving digital world. Highly recommend for all middle and high school teachers!
A Practical Guide for Talking Digital Ethics with Students
Ethics in a Digital World is a must read for both educators and parents. This book tackles some of the toughest questions we are confronted with as educators in a digestible format. Each chapter explores a general question related to ethics in computing along with arguments from both sides of the issue. There are real-world examples and curricular connections that could be used in most middle or high school classrooms. This is the book I wish I had in my graduate course on digital ethics! Instead of being left with more questions than answers, this book gave me a practical guide for having ethical conversations with my students. Where I work, we are always looking for ways to add to our Digital Citizenship curriculum and this book will be a great addition for the upcoming school year.
A must read for secondary educators!
The importance of teaching digital citizenship through all content areas is once again brought to the forefront by Kristen Mattson's new book. This time, however, she digs even deeper by tackling some of the toughest ethical questions of our time. Educators will not only learn more about each of these topics, but will gain Kristen's insight into how to address these issues in any secondary classroom. Whether you have a passion for #digcit or just want to learn more about this important topic, you won't be disappointed in Mattson's new book.