And with Great Power…

“And with great power, comes great responsibility…” So said Spiderman… (to quote)
Technology is indeed empowering people… but I ask, are people ready to accept this responsibility? Are our students willing to accept this responsibility and do they know what this responsibility really entails?
Even looking at ourselves, as Educators, when online somehow we are truly responsible for what we are writing or submitting, because there is a wide audience who is actually accessing the information which we disseminate, and therefore any misconceptions, any errors, any mistakes which can result from what we write, may have more propagating consequences.

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10 thoughts on “And with Great Power…

  1. >It isn't just students who are not aware of this responsibility of essentially 'leaving your mark' online; from reading certain comments on the times of malta online, A LOT of people seem to be unaware of these consequences you're mentioning.Web 2.0 and social networking have revolutionised the way we communicate and the way we spend our time online, however they have brought along some privacy issues that I'm sure a large amount of students are unaware of. (watch the uncomfortable interview with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg here: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/facebooks-zuckerberg-has-richard-nixon-moment-2010-06-03 when asked about Facebook privacy) In fact I think it is about time our students are educated on this issue, and general online privacy.Additionally, whether we (and our students) like it or not, technology is only going to move further and into our lives, so we just have to learn from our mistakes and errors and actually think before posting something online. In turn this should hopefully give us a 'cleaner' online experience.

  2. >This is indeed quite a sensitive issue. Today students make use of technology of the time for all their learning and communication needs but having been 'born' into it, they might take the issue of privacy for granted and not even consider responsibility, ethics and misunderstandings. From my experience, I have witnessed quite a few arguments in Foundation classes where students fight over comments posted about each other on facebook and photos they took of each other without permission. Even sms's sent in anger are kept and used to fuel an argument over and over.Another inevitable issue lecturers will / is facing is the constant chance that students will be recording us without our knowledge and consent. One has to think about how this makes us feel, if we are ok with it or not and whether we even have any control over it or not in the first place.

  3. >I agree this is a great responsibility it seems the internet aspires to a culture of free speech but I wonder where should the line be drawn? There are a lot of fringe ideas and beliefs in religion, culture, and even academia that the Internet has allowed to bubble to the surface. However as educators we need to teach our students about ethics and how to observe boundaries. We are living in a democratic country and are allowed freedom of speech and expression but to see positive results we also have to give our students the right tools, information and opportunities. It has become the culture of our youngsters to spend hours on line chatting, playing and browsing the internet so it is up to the parents, educators and also their own peers to educate them as to what and how to post information. Whilst technology is empowering people, this can leave both positive and negative effects on society.

  4. >I am of the opinion that a good educator should always be responsible for whatever he teaches whether this is applicable to a single person or to thousands of people as is the case with material which is made available online. In all cases the educator must make sure that the material and ideas that he/she presents contain no errors, mistakes or misconceptions. One might argue that everybody is human and liable to mistakes, but due to his delicate position, the educator must make sure that he presents all facts correctly.As regards the students, in general one tends to think that they are too young to realise their responsibility when posting something online. I do not associate this lack of responsibility with age but more with the level of maturity and the students' social background. Education can help to improve the situation but this education has to start with the very young, embedding in them a culture of respect towards others and responsibility. I think that it might be too late for education to be effective if the children are already in their early teens.

  5. >‘‘With great power come great responsibility.’’ This is one of my favourite quotes because it is so true and so full of meaning. Technology nowadays is really empowering people and it is a tool that whether we like it or not has become part of our daily lives, however I think that most people do not really think about the responsibilities that such tools carry. Most people including students never stop to wonder what effects their actions are going to have and sometimes they can be serious ones. Students use the internet for a whole range of reasons one of which is social networking but most never wonder whether a comment they make or a photo they post is going to have a negative effect on themselves or someone else. Moreover such technology raises ethical issues and also privacy issues. When students provide information about themselves and use blogs and chat rooms, they are communicating and increasing their circle of friends but also their exposure to persons who have less-than-friendly intentions. Students don’t realise that there are people who can hack their computer or steal their identity or simply be different than what they say they are. I think that primarily it is the role of the parents to educate their children on technology use especially since most internet usage is carried out at home. However, as Josette said, it is the role of the educators to teach students about ethics and boundaries. Students need to understand that they should not give out information about themselves that they don’t want the whole world to know. The internet is the world’s biggest information exchange and many more people could be seeing your information, more than you intend, including parents, teachers, employers and even strangers, some of which can be dangerous.Mildred

  6. >‘‘With great power comes great responsibility.’’ Indeed! As educators we are in a position of great responsibility because of the great influence both good and bad we can have on the students. In class, we have often discussed the issues of messaging, emailing and using internet documents (or rather copying) especially as regards plagiarism. This latter is a major issue not just for us as educators but also for the students. I feel they really need us to set a good example and help them by showing them how to do it. Students often plagiarise because they don’t know how to go about the task, they feel lost and it takes them a very long time to do it. In breaking the task in smaller steps: given the topic, a number of sites to look up (initially one or two, then the list gets longer) and some keywords to start from they can manage. Keeping them focused, they should manage to write a few paragraphs in their own words. This task still takes them a couple of hours. I often tell them to keep a clock next to them so that they can manage their time. Little by little they start to get better and realise they are progressing. I realise it is difficult for them to remember to reference each time. When online (or not) we should always make sure we are giving up-to-date material. In Engineering it is especially important to keep up with emerging technology. It is better to say you will check up material you are not familiar with rather than say anything else. Our professionalism comes into play here and one thing all students realise by observing us, is whether we are acting professionally or not.

  7. >I cannot but agree with all that has been said above.I would like to add this point: many people grumble and share their concerns and worries regarding the power that today's students have obtained through technology. Whenever this happens – through blog posts over local online newspapers, letters in newspapers, as well as TV and radio programs – I often wonder whether these people ever think about any solutions to the problems they see.I believe that the generational gap is at the bottom end of a bucket-full of reasons. Moreover, the biggest problem I see is that our educational systems have been waiting for the much-needed reforms for far too long. This has effectively increased the gap between what is taught and what can be found in reality.We do not have the luxury of sitting down for years without ever looking at what needs to be changed. The fast pace of technology does not allow us such luxury.We need to be fast yet wise more than ever before to meet the ever changing needs of today’s students. This is our duty and the duty of authorities to ensure that we are effectively not preparing students for realities that do not exist anymore or have become obsolete.

  8. >This is what I do not like about the Internet. It makes it very easy for anyone to gather information about a person. The very aim of the Internet, to make information easily accessible to everyone, can act to our own disadvantage. Whenever we participate/contribute to a community on the Internet we need to bare in mind that anyone can view our contribution. All activity we do on the Internet can be very easily found by anyone and is made much easier to find than in the non-digital world. The unfortunate reality is that we have been introduced to these systems on the Internet without considering the security implications about them. It is for that reason that I full agree that any activity we make on the Internet we need to take with responsibility. Finally, if there is something that you would not want someone or some persons not to know or see, then do not post it on the Internet, keep it to yourself.

  9. >I agree with the above comments and even with the quote "With great power comes great responsibility" and even the quote "Ikbar m'int ikbar hemmek". We as educators are on top of the mountain and students might look at us know-it-all. Whatever we say is considered as LAW by them. So such resposnibility should not be applied only on the net but also, if the net was not available as we should be responsible in everything we do.

  10. >• And with Great powerIt is true that with technology comes great responsibility, and also very true that us, as educators, should sometimes help students understand the repercussions of their actions (online). But we seem to be forgetting one point, the fact that these students, especially MCAST students are adault and should be mature enough to know their responsibilities without the need of us pointing out what is right and what is wrong. When students act irresponsibly, it is usually not because they don’t know that it is wrong, or because they are immature, it is simply for the sake of acting irresponsibly, for the fun of not following the norm. What is interesting is the fact that this also happens in real life, to the extent that we can almost say that what happens online/how a person acts online, is a mirror of what happens in real life/how a person acts in real life, if not more severe. The fact that to a certain extent our true identity is “hidden” online, might encourage people to act more irresponsible since in most cases we are not held accountable for our actions.

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