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Decision point three

  • You live in a developing nation. While you have work, it doesn't pay well and you are barely able to provide for your family's basic needs. One problem and things will get very difficult for you and your family.
  • Your child came home with an MIT-designed laptop computer. She and her classmates have benefited from the computers donated to their school by the generosity of developed nations where concerned citizens can buy two computers and have one donated to needy children. You find this somewhat patronizing and you see these laptops as a mixed blessing.
  • On the one hand, this laptop has helped you and your family to enjoy the benefits of access to the Internet, although, because of poor infrastructure, this access is limited, sporadic, and subject to frequent breakdowns. On the other hand, you question whether your child is mature enough to use and care for her computer. If anything should happen, you would be required to buy a new replacement laptop, and you simply don't have the money.
  • Yet should you not replace your daughter's broken laptop, she would be excluded from the education her peers enjoy because she would no longer have a computer. You question whether you want to run on this "treadmill."
  • Furthermore, you can see that laptops--even MIT laptops--are designed for adults, not children. They are made of heavy metals and other toxic materials. The batteries, especially, are dangerous because of the materials they contain. They wear out and replacing them can be expensive.
  • Your child could also become a target for robbers. She walks to and from school carrying her computer, and you know of other children who have been beaten and robbed of their laptops.
  • So you see these laptops as a mixed blessing fraught with risk. What should you do?

What you are going to do...

    Exercise 1: prepare a sts grid

  • Construct a socio-technical system (STS) grid for public schools in Puerto Rico
  • Using the templates found at m14025 (Socio-Technical Systems in Professional Decision Making) identify the key constituents such as hardware, software, physical surroundings, etc.
  • Select key levels for analysis. For example, you may want to look at the STS from the standpoint of individuals (students and teachers), small groups (public school systems), and institutions (education and business).
  • Starting with a short list of values, identify the values embedded in the public school STS and, if possible, the specific components in which these values are embedded. A good place to start is to see how different physical arrangements of the classroom embody different approaches to education.

Values in stss

Values that can be used for exercise 1 include Justice (equity and access), Property, Privacy, Free Speech, Responsibility (Safety). More on these values can be found by clicking on the Computing Cases link provided in this module. Several of these values are defined in the Ethics of Team Work module, m13769.

    Exercise 2: identifying potential or latent problems in stss

  • Choose one of the following three problem areas to help focus your work: (1) value problems that may arise when laptops with their current design are integrated in the PR STS; (2) value problems that may arise by the digitalization of textbooks and other educational materials; (3) value problems and potential harms that may arise during the disposal of spent laptops.
  • Compare values embodied in current laptop design with those embodied in the Puerto Rican public school STS. Are there any conflicts? What are these?
  • Look more closely at the Puerto Rican public school STS. Are there any conflicts that will be highlighted, exaggerated, or increased by the integration of laptop computers.
  • Finally, look for potential harms that could occur in the short, middle, and long term future.

    Exercise 3: develop counter-measures to problems

  • Generate 5 to 10 options to respond to the problems you have identified. Make sure that you include the status quo among your options.
  • Check each option against the problems you have identified. Does the option solve the problems identified in your STS analysis? Does it integrate the conflicting values and avoid untoward results? Does it give rise to new problems?
  • Prepare a short presentation for the class (5 to 10 minutes) where you outline your problem, set forth the range of solutions you have identified, and describe and justify your solution. Be sure to address issues that may arise when you turn to implementing your solution.
  • Provide a one or two sentence argument that your solution is best for delivering on social responsibility.

    Exercise 4: evaluate the microsoft philadelphia public schools project

  • Listen to/read the news report on the Microsoft Foundation's project to integrate computing technology in Philadelphia. (You can find it by clicking on the link in this module.)
  • Is this an example of a corporation carrying out its social responsibility to the surrounding community?.
  • Evaluate Microsoft generally in terms of its social responsibility.


Social justice and responsible technology

Educational laptops presentation

Questions & Answers

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
is this allso about nanoscale material
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where is the latest information on a no technology how can I find it
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
What you would do if you were in the position of the tourist?
Irha Reply

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