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This module is based on a hypothetical case with some very real implications. Students are placed in the perspective of decision-makers charged with implementing a project to give public school students in Puerto Rico laptop computers to facilitate their education. Then they are provided with a socio-technical system methodology to help them identify potential problems embedded in laptop technology. Using these tools, they identify and solve ethical and social problems that are likely to arise when public officials work to implement laptop computer technology into the Puerto Rican public school socio-technical system. This module is being developed as a part of an NSF-funded project, "Collaborative Development of Ethics Across the Curriculum Resources and Sharing of Best Practices," NSF SES 0551779.


While social responsibility has been recognized as one of the key areas of business ethics, much more needs to be done to develop frameworks and tools to clarify the concept itself and to implement it in business and professional practice on a day-to-day basis. This module will give students the opportunity to practice using frameworks and techniques that address these two needs.

Developing socio-technical system analyses provides an effective means to highlight issues of social responsibility. Since socio-technical systems embody values, building their descriptions allows us to read off potential problems due to harmful impacts and value conflicts. To facilitate this, you will be building socio-technical system descriptions using a grid or matrix that provides the components of socio-technical systems, levels under which they can be analyzed, and the values that they tend to embody. Building socio-technical system descriptions also requires using methods of participatory observation. These include constructing surveys and questionnaires, developing interviews, and building day-in-the-life scenarios. This module will help you frame and respond to social responsibility issues by providing a framework for socio-technical analysis and a set of methodological tools taken from participatory observation.

Module m14025 (Social-Technical Systems in Professional Decision Making) provides background information on STSs, their construction and their uses. Links to this module and to the website, Computing Cases, can be found in the upper left hand corner of this module. They provide useful background information. This module makes use of a case, Texas Laptops, that was developed by Chuck Huff and C. Nathan DeWall for NSF projects, DUE-9972280 and DUE-9980768.

Case narrative

    Texas laptop case

  1. In the late 1990's, the Texas State Board of Education proposed the ambitious plan of providing each of the state's four million public school students with their own laptop computer. This plan was devised to solve several problems confronting Texas public education.
  2. Laptop computers could make educational resources more accessable to students who were faced with special challenges like deafness or blindness. Computers offer software options (such as audio books) that promise to reach more students than traditional printed textbooks.
  3. Laptops also promised to solve the problem of obsolete textbooks. Texas purchased textbooks for their students at considerable costs. The purchasing cycle ran six years. By the end of this cycle, textbooks were out of date. For example, in the late 1990's when the laptop plan was proposed, history textbooks still referred to the Soviet Union and to the existence of the Berlin Wall. Laptops, on the other hand, would present textbook content in digital form which would eliminate printing and shipping costs and facilitate updates through online downloads.
  4. Texas business leaders were concerned about the computer literacy of the upcoming generation of students. By employing laptops in more and more teaching activities, students would learn how to interact with computers while taking advantage of the new and more effective modes of presentation offered.

Questions & Answers

how do we prove the quadratic formular
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what is math number
Tric Reply
x-2y+3z=-3 2x-y+z=7 -x+3y-z=6
Sidiki Reply
Need help solving this problem (2/7)^-2
Simone Reply
what is the coefficient of -4×
Mehri Reply
the operation * is x * y =x + y/ 1+(x × y) show if the operation is commutative if x × y is not equal to -1
Alfred Reply
An investment account was opened with an initial deposit of $9,600 and earns 7.4% interest, compounded continuously. How much will the account be worth after 15 years?
Kala Reply
lim x to infinity e^1-e^-1/log(1+x)
given eccentricity and a point find the equiation
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12, 17, 22.... 25th term
Alexandra Reply
12, 17, 22.... 25th term
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I'm 13 and I understand it great
I am 1 year old but I can do it! 1+1=2 proof very hard for me though.
Not really they are just easy concepts which can be understood if you have great basics. I am 14 I understood them easily.
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find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
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I know this work
The given of f(x=x-2. then what is the value of this f(3) 5f(x+1)
virgelyn Reply
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If f(x) = x-2 then, f(3) when 5f(x+1) 5((3-2)+1) 5(1+1) 5(2) 10
how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
make 5/4 into a mixed number, make that a decimal, and then multiply 32 by the decimal 5/4 turns out to be
A soccer field is a rectangle 130 meters wide and 110 meters long. The coach asks players to run from one corner to the other corner diagonally across. What is that distance, to the nearest tenths place.
Kimberly Reply
Jeannette has $5 and $10 bills in her wallet. The number of fives is three more than six times the number of tens. Let t represent the number of tens. Write an expression for the number of fives.
August Reply
What is the expressiin for seven less than four times the number of nickels
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How do i figure this problem out.
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
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why surface tension is zero at critical temperature
I think if critical temperature denote high temperature then a liquid stats boils that time the water stats to evaporate so some moles of h2o to up and due to high temp the bonding break they have low density so it can be a reason
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. 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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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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