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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

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit 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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