Matt’s Major Project – The Ethical Considerations of AI

It’s finally done.  Below you will find my major project in which I explore the ethical dimensions of AI use.  I would like to thank everyone in the course for providing such rich discussion on this topic, and our instructor Alec for facilitating it all.  If you would like to see how this project came together you can visit a portion of my blog dedicated to it by clicking here.

What if you were “Media Illiterate” for a day?

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”

– Daniel J. Boorstin

Why are people so dumb?  Seriously.  Why can’t they see it?  This morning I saw this video on YouTube about this politician I hate.  He sucks.  The guy is basically ruining the country (I’m pretty sure that he’s a traitor).  I re-posted it and subscribed to the channel.  This country’s going to heck in a handbasket.  I don’t know how anyone could miss all of these stories, they’re all over my Facebook feed and Snapchat.  The thing is everyone else is basically brainwashed by the media!  It’s indoctrination from the schools.  Seriously, what are they teaching kids today?  I can’t be manipulated like that because I know the truth.  Trust me, I do my research.  I read a lot about this stuff.  Like the other day I heard…

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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

Reflecting on Digital Identity

An oval mirror in front of two empty concrete seats.Saj and Mirror 2016 by Rami Tareef, CC BY-SA 4.0 

A life time ago when I was in high school a classmate of mine had a lucrative side hustle selling pirated satellite television boxes.  What set him apart from the dozens of others who did this was that he actually wrote the code that circumvented the security protections.  Years later our paths crossed again and it turns out that he now runs his own cyber security firm that does consultation work across the country.  During our conversation he told me that “Google probably knows you better than you know yourself.”  He went on to say my buying habits, location data, search histories, and social media presence create a composite picture of who you are in the digital space.

The idea that my activities are constantly shaping my digital identity was foremost in my mind when it came time to write this week’s blog post.  What have I been putting out into the world and what does it say about me?  What have I done to help my students nurture a positive online presence?  How does the concept of digital identity connect to digital citizenship?

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Flops, Defeats, and Omissions – A Brief History of Mishandling Ribble’s 9 Elements

Failure provides opportunities for growth and reflection (in my case, many, many opportunities)

As an educator do you ever get the feeling that your not as effectual, prepared, or responsible as your colleagues?  When you engage in professional or academic conversations do you sometimes reflect on your past actions and wince?

I certainly do.

Depressed Havanese Dog by Nutcracker 100CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED

This week’s discourse around digital literacy provided ample time for me to relive a greatest hits playlist of botched attempts at both instructing and practicing Mike Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship.  How important is digital literacy?  According to the Government of Saskatchewan teaching digital literacy is not only essential for preparing our students to live in technology rich world, but it must be done so explicitly and purposefully within schools.  The importance of the latter point is foremost in my mind because up to this point I have made some embarrassing blunders that I intend to share with you.  Why do this?  We all have lapses and make mistakes.  I hope by examining the missteps that I have made (and bore witness to in my teaching career) we can all gain a better understanding of how Ribble’s work impacts the social and learning environment of a school.

Here we go.

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Why we Suck at Predicting the Future of Education

Is something wrong with our crystal ball?

A picture of a futuristic, green, sustainable city.








Green sustainable city by Prototypeperspective, CC0 1.0

As a teenager I loved the magazine Popular Mechanics.  First and foremost, the ratio of text to fighter jet photographs was, in my opinion, extraordinary.  Secondly, I would scan through the review sections pretending that I could afford the technological treasures within (I remember practically drooling over a 600 MHz Pentium 3 processor in the late 90s).  Lastly, they always made predictions of what the future would look like.  The pages bristled with headlines like “Cities of the future” and “Meet the car of tomorrow.”  It was enthralling stuff.  In hindsight they did drop the ball quite a bit.  For example in the 1950s they famously predicted that we would all be driving our personal helicopters to work.  However, you can hardly hold it against them.  People are terrible at predicting the future, and my favourite childhood magazine was a reflection of this.

That last point seems salient to this week’s discussion of generational, cultural, and societal changes in education.  While scanning through this week’s blog prompts several asked me not only to envision the educational landscape of the future, but to make suggestions for how best to prepare students for it.  The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that I would end up suggesting some nonsense that would end up aging like spoiled milk.  But why is this task so difficult?  Why can’t teachers and administrators predict the future of education easily?

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Artificial Intelligence Through the Lens of Postman

A word cloud of common words associated with artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence Word Cloud by Madhav-Malhotra-003, CC0 1.0   

Fear Born out of Misunderstanding

In his discussion of Marshall McLuhan’s work, Mark Federman pointed out that people often misinterpret the quote, “The Medium is the Message.”  As Federman noted McLuhan was not insisting that method of delivery is more relevant than its content, but instead that we miss structural, subtle changes in favour of the glaring obvious.  This is where I find my understanding of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), and its associated role in education, at present.  With news stories of rampant academic abuses circulating in the media I have largely thought of A.I. as another way to game the system; something to be detected, stamped out, and avoided.  However I feel that I have been staring into the headlights while missing the larger picture.  What is less obvious?  What new opportunities does A.I. hold for my classroom?  If A.I. is dangerous to education, is it in a way that I am completely missing?  Is my current perspective a reflection of a lack of digital/media literacy?

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