Topical examples of ethics in computing:
This week, after watching too many science fiction films, Carrie Anne and James ask, "How moral is your machine?". We explored if computers are simply tools now that they are increasingly capable of making recommendations and taking decisions for us. What are the consequences if developers do not take the time to consider ethics and morality in their programming? And how, as educators, we can usefully bring this conversation into the classroom to engage and inspire our learners?
Luckily we were joined by a couple of educators who think about ethics in computing, and how to explore the topic with students, to save us from our conundrum:
Together we investigated the difference between morals and ethics, and discussed examples of ethical dilemmas machines might have to solve.
To finish off the show, we reached out to our vast community of computing and digital making educators on Twitter to ask what their students think about ethics in computing and how they approach the subject.
For more practical advice from educators on computing and digital making, check out and subscribe to Hello World magazine. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a five-star review wherever you get your podcasts.
We’ll be back in two weeks with a new podcast episode to ask the question “How do we give learners context and creativity in computing?”. Until then, you can get in touch with a question or comment about the discussion in this episode at firstname.lastname@example.org or @helloworld_edu on Twitter.
Digital literacy and philosophy for children
Emma Goto explores how the Philosophy for Children pedagogical approach can be used in digital literacy and e-safety lessons. HW19: Sustainability and Computing, pg. 64-65.
Virtual reality with CoSpaces
Andreas Dengel shares his experiences of using the programming environment CoSpaces for introducing basic components of algorithms by designing three-dimensional virtual worlds. HW19: Sustainability and Computing, pg. 60-61.
Refurbishing computers for refugee
James Abela introduces his 15-year-old student John Ling and tells the tale of how he sourced, refurbished, and distributed computers for Rohingya refugees in Malaysia. HW19: Sustainability and Computing, pg. 24-25.
The Centre for AI & Climate - “Responsible AI is on everyone”
Gemma Coleman speaks to Pete Clutton-Brock and Sims Witherspoon, the co-founders of the Centre for AI & Climate, about AI’s potential to accelerate climate action. HW19: Sustainability and Computing, pg. 20-21.
Sign language for computing terms
A team in Scotland, UK, has developed a British Sign Language glossary for computing terms that aims to widen tech access. HW19: Sustainability and Computing, pg. 6.
Can teaching coding skills help tackle inequality?
We’ve been thinking about the challenges that many people, young and old, encounter and ask “Can teaching coding skills help tackle inequality?"
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