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Students in computer ethics classes at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez have looked into the feasibility of integrating laptops in the public school socio-technical system in Puerto Rico. They began by looking at the project to provide public school teachers with laptops that was carried out in the late 1990's under the Pedro Rossello administration. The student research projects came to focus on three problem areas. First, they examined whether there were structures in laptop design that made computers unfit for use by children. Second, they studied whether social or ethical problems would arise from disposal of spent laptops. Third, they investigated the impact on copyright law and intellectual property practices that digitalizing printed textbooks would have.

What you are going to do...

Decision point one

  • You are a computer engineer and have been subcontracted by your local government to purchase new portable ocmputers for high school teachers. Your job includes...
  • selecting the kind of computer to be used
  • identifying vendors who will sell the computers
  • overseeing the distribution of computers to high school teachers
  • developing an implementing a training program to help teachers learn to use computers
  • designing a technical support hotline to help teacher work out any technical problems that may arise

Distributing computers to high school teachers seems simple enough. You select the computers, buy them, and give them to the teachers. Yet only a slight change in circumstances can bring into the open latent or potential ethical issues:

  • How should you go about setting up the bidding process to determine the computers to be used?
  • What should you do to determine teacher and student needs and how computers can respond to these needs? It makes very little sense to provide computers and then tell teachers and students to use them. What are they to do with these computers? How do they fit them into everyday education? This requires seeing the computer project from the standpoints of students, their parents, and teachers. The reversibility test will help here.
  • Who stands to benefit from your actions? Who stands to be harmed from these actions? How will benefits and harms be distributed through the different stakeholders in this case?
  • Latent ethical problems exist in this socio-technical system that can erupt into full-blown problems with small changes in circumstances
  • Someone you know well--say your cousin--submits a bid. What ethical issues does this turn of events give rise to?
  • The contract to provide computers is awarded to you cousin, and he provides reliable computers at a reasonable price. The, a few weeks later, you read the following headline in the newspaper: "More Government Corruption--Computer Czar's Cousin Counts Millions in Cozy Computer Contract" What do you do now?
  • A group of angry high school teachers holds a press conference in which they accuse the government of forcing them to use computing technology in their classes. They say you are violating their academic freedom. How should you respond?
  • Someone in the government suggesting placing a program in each computer that allows government officials to monitor the computers and track user behavior. How would you feel if your computer use were being monitored without your knowledge or consent>Are their circumstances under which monitoring could bring about any social benefits? What are the likely harms? Do the benefits outweigh the harms? Suppose you go along with this and read the following headline in the morning newspaper: "Government Snoops B ug High School computers" . Using the publicity test, what kind of person would you appear to be in the public's eye? How would you view yourself in terms of this action?

Questions & Answers

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Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
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. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
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Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
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Cied
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
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Yasmin
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
Cesar
I'm interested in nanotube
Uday
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
AMJAD
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
AMJAD
what is system testing
AMJAD
what is the application of nanotechnology?
Stotaw
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
Azam
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
Prasenjit
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
Azam
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
Prasenjit
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
Damian
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
Damian
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
Azam
Hello
Uday
I'm interested in Nanotube
Uday
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
Prasenjit
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
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Source:  OpenStax, Business ethics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 04, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10491/1.11
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