While the concepts themselves are important in teaching STEM lessons, it is also important to explore the ethical rights and wrongs of using this technology in the real world. In this post, we will explore three different ethics principles that are important to teach your STEM students during the semester.
For more information about the role of ethics in STEM education, download and read this resource: Incorporating Ethics into STEM Lessons.
Look at Unethical Decisions of the Past and Ask Why
There is no shortage of unethical decisions made via technology that have broken the news in recent history, such as the recent Facebook data scandal. It is important that students being exposed to technology learn from the mistakes of the past to avoid making them again in the future. Offer examples of past issues in technology that were controversial or deemed unethical. Then ask your students why they believe that to be true or not. By talking about these issues and having students identify what was wrong with the situation, students will become more aware of the decisions they make in regards to technology use.
Create a Hypothetical Ethical Issue and Act it Out
Another way to explore issues regarding ethics in your classroom is by acting out situations and requiring your students to make a choice on what to do. In doing this, one student will be the technology user, or the victim, and the other student will be the one with the power to make the decisions regarding technology usage. This allows students to see both sides of the situation and discuss what is right and wrong.
Read Current Events in STEM Ethics and Discuss
Finally, staying up on the news can benefit your students tremendously in shaping their ability to make ethical decisions. Studying current affairs allows for students to watch these types of situations taking place in real time and, and as they do, they have the opportunity to decide what they would in the situation. This allows them to learn as the rules surrounding technology evolve.
Creating opportunities to teach ethics is important in every subject, every semester, and by using these lessons in your STEM classroom, you will be off to a great start.