Putting Ethical Behaviour at the Centre of Learning


OEB Shaping the future

Is the name of the conference in Berlin this week. So far I have attended sessions on digital literacy, ed-tech companies, the plenary this morning where the speakers were all good;  Anita Schjøll Brede; Co-founder of Iris.ai and Faculty at SingularityU Nordic, Norway, Bryan Caplan Professor of Economics at George Mason University, EconLog Blogger and Author, USA, Geoff Mulgan,  Chief Executive of NESTA and Author, UK, then Fighting “Post-Truth” with Critical Literacy Education – with Alec Couros, and a very amusing plenary ending today. What a good idea to discuss “learning should be fun” easy to find voices on both sides there. If asked where are you on that issue?

This House Believes All Learning Experiences Should Be Fun is the motion for this year’s OEB Global Debate. As ‘enriched’ experiences, such as gamification and virtual reality, play increasingly important roles in education and, as traditional methods of teaching come under increasing attack, this year’s OEB debate is your chance to have your say on the role of ‘fun’ in learning. Should all learning experiences be fun, as the proposers of the motion will argue? Or are hard work, discipline and the old-fashioned ways still as important as ever? Always one of the highlights of OEB, the annual Plenary Debate is an opportunity for you to discuss one of the most important issues for the future of education with our expert speakers. The parliamentary-style format is sure to encourage a lively exchange of views – and there’ll be plenty of time for audience participation.  With  Alex Beard Educator, Author and Director at Teach for All, UK Elliott Masie Editor of Learning TRENDS, Author and Head of the Masie Center, USA Benjamin Doxtdator Blogger and Educator at the International School of Brussels, Belgium Patti Shank Learning Designer, Analyst, Author and President of Learning Peaks, USA. The discussion was really interesting, the only slow part was the contribution from the audience who often are more expression than posing a question. 

Technology is changing society. The way we live and the jobs we do will never be the same again. In twenty years, the world of work will be unlike anything we have ever known. The development of artificial intelligence will allow machines to replace workers in many industries on an unprecedented scale. Humankind will face some fundamental, existential questions. Why are we here? What are we doing? How are we different from the machines?
Education will shape our response to the immense challenge of this new age. But education and training will have to change too. So will the nature of employment. Learning will no longer be a brief phase in life. It will become a central part of our existence. In an era of constant and increasing change, we will discover a new appreciation of learning and an understanding of its place in the future. We will learn to love learning

What’s commonly called “ethical behaviour” has so many manifestations that it’s probably impossible to create anything approaching an exhaustive catalogue. Complicating the issue is that “ethical behaviour” varies across cultures. Does this mean that seeking to create a learning experience that comprises a conscious attempt to develop ethical global citizens – without formally defining what “ethical” means – is somehow a wasted effort? To this Panel, the answer is clearly “no”. Come and add to our discussion about infusing learning with a real-world ethical component.

My preparations for this panel discussion are based on my personal experiences as a teacher of English in Norway.

Why Ethical Behaviour Matters

  • Skills most likely to see great demand: Judgement and decision making.
  • Complex problem solving, creativity, empathy. (machines can learn empathy), we need empathy and heart in building the machine for the world. Anita Schjøll Brede;
  • Critical mindset and digital citizens. How do we prepare for this? See Media Bias Chart below. Like the idea of having one lie in each lecture, class for the student to find out and be alert. Alec Couros.  I also like the idea of having students create value in the world, from the classroom. It has to be a journey from the private classroom to the public classroom in the world. Now everyone has a voice, the question is how we use it. That has to be taught. Filter bubbles, what you see is what is tailored to you. Algorithms, what are you more likely to hear?
  • Politecho shows you the political biases of your Facebook friends and news feed. Remember lies travel faster than the truth, supposedly Mart Twain said this but Quote Investigator is not so sure. Cool place to visit.
  • Emotions to avoid when posting online: anger, pride, vindication. STOP! You can’t take it back.
  • Everything online is very visible, traceable and not removable. 

My projects

  1. Working on projects with students in the USA, Austraila and South Africa
  2. One example of that is the book I wrote with my students. Connected educators.
  3. Working on a project with Kiva
  4. Working on a project with student exchange, USA and Norway working on The Global Goals.
  5. Ethical guidelines on how to work with this in class and digital citizenship. 

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