What are some ethical challenges presented by contemporary uses of online technologies to communicate, interact, and engage in social activities? Web 2.0 and the evolving social dimension of computing has brought about a paradigm shift in many individuals’ experience of technology use. The ability to connect, communicate, and collaborate with others through the affordances of technology continues to influence and shape our attitude and motivation towards the uses and purposes of technology. A prime example of this is social media. The advent of social media has impacted our relationship with technology, our relationship with information, our relationship with others, and our relationship with the world around us in terms of:
Our lived experience and practice of technological engagement
How technology use is embedded in our daily interactions in contemporary society
Our overall engagement with and through the web
What ethical challenges might this technological engagement pose? You’ll be exploring this guiding question as you examine the affordances and challenges of social media as a case study. You will examine it generally by reading a journal article affordances/challenges in terms of information, interactivity, and sociability. And then you will examine it practically and in context by choosing one particular social media tool, conducting research about it, and then creating a podcast to share what you learned as well as your own informed perspectives on the issues raised this week.
SECOND: Seek out additional information about the tool you chose from at least FOUR sources total. ONE of your sources can be the assigned reading this week. But the others sources you must find on your own. Do an independent Google search for more sources by entering the name of your tool as a keyword or search terms. When selecting sources to read and reference, consider: Is the source credible? Is the content on the site relevant for the information I’m seeking? What authority does this source have to be making the claims or presenting the information that they do? Are they a trusted source, like an expert in their field, an educational organization, a trusted media source? Popular media sources may be appropriate for this activity, since they often report on what’s impacting popular culture. Use your best judgment. Read about who sponsors or authors the site or the web article. Click on the link to go to the About page to learn more about the source. Is the information presented current, or when was the site last updated? The date of the web article may be near the top next to the author’s name… or scroll to the bottom of the web page and look at the year the site was last updated or copyrighted. Considering our purposes and the constantly changing nature of social media, anything prior to 2015 may be considered outdated and no longer accurate or relevant. Again, use your best judgment. For more academic sources, try doing a search in Google Scholar (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. in addition to basic Google and wikipedia.
Search for information that helps explain how the tool “works.” Go basic and go deep. That is, consider the questions: How does this tool work on a basic level – what is its functionality? On a deeper level, how are people (adults, teens, kids) using this tool and what are the implications– that is, what influence might it be having on the way people interact with one another or with the world? What do you think of what you have read about this tool? What are your impressions, perspectives, concerns, hopes, fears about how people are using it? Is it being used for entertainment? Is it being used in any way for productive purposes, like learning? What are some of the ethical challenges posed by this tool? You should strive to refer to some of the issues raised this week about information and communications technologies.
– Describe the app/site/tool and why you chose it.
– Describe how it works on a functional level.
– Describe the potential this tool holds for productive uses, such as its potential for learning opportunities, etc.
– Describe what ethical challenges or risks it could potentially pose.
– And finally, share any other impressions or personal perspectives you have about this tool and what you believe is important for people to know.
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