A scary conversation

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So in technology class we are moving on to our next topic Social and Ethical web use. I was thinking that today would be a good conversation. I was prepared, had a couple of examples ready, and then…the students walked in.

I set up my iRiver to record the conversation. Not sure if I’ll post it or not because it didn’t pick up the students voices to well, that and the conversation was brutal.

How do you teach information ethics when:

Every DVD you get is pirated (about $1 each)
Every CD you buy is pirated (about $.75)
When knockoff Rolex, Billabong shirts, and Nike shoes can be bought on any corner.

and I wonder why they look at me like I’m crazy! How do you make them understand, when they have grown up in a culture in which free music has always been available via the web. Where I learned about two more file sharing programs today in our conversation that I didn’t know existed and at the same time had to explain how I use to make mixed tapes for my girlfriend back in high school.

Here’s the scary part…I’m only talking to 18 kids out of 900 at my school and out of 1.something billion here in China.



I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. Pingback: Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

  2. I agree. As an English teacher who for 16 years has preached nothing but citation, citation, citation and “don’t plagiarize!” of course I agree. As a freelance writer with published friends who depend on royalties, I have to agree.

    And yet, I pause for just a second and wonder if all our fear of ethical violations over intellectual properties in the technological age isn’t so much “digital immigrant” doublespeak.

    Imagine if everyone just shared their ideas, and their music, and their art, without regard to the dollar or the proprietary patent. Freeflowing exchanges of information and artistic endeavors 24/7/365.

    Imagine the world we’d live in then. That’s where the ‘natives’ live. That’s why they don’t get our outrage and frustration…


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