Ethics and Emerging Technologies. (Editor's Desk)

By McLester, Susan | Technology & Learning, November 2002 | Go to article overview

Ethics and Emerging Technologies. (Editor's Desk)


McLester, Susan, Technology & Learning


The Top 10 "Smart" Technologies we feature in this month's issue were chosen by T&L editors with input from a number of experts, including our advisory board members, regular writers, and other educator leaders in the field. It is truly exciting to envision the possibilities of tomorrow's learning environment with such products and capabilities as e-ink, Personal Area Networks, and the virtual experiences offered via haptic technologies. Imagine digitized classroom walls that can display multimedia from a tiny handheld device; computers, printers, and cell phones communicating wirelessly; and data gloves that allow us to "much" a human heart remotely. You can get a sampling of these possible tomorrows for schools from both our Top 10 cover feature (page 20), and also a special Trend Watch (page 6) that provides a peek at "not quite there yet" technologies.

At the same time that we present to you this rather razzle-dazzle display of high-tech tools for schools, it seems appropriate to raise the issues of cost (not the dollars and cents kind), ethics, and balance associated with many of them. Along with their amazing and powerful capabilities come some pretty weighty responsibilities for us as educators, parents, and, well, human beings. It's not too early to begin asking ourselves the question: How far do we go? When we talk about using neural implants to enhance reasoning and memory, how do we determine just where to draw the line? …

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