Ethical Tech: Choosing Digital Tools for Teaching

We often choose the technologies we teach with based on our learning goals, student access to tools, and how easy those technologies are to use. But how much do we really know about the digital tools we use in our courses? What are the privacy, data, and ethical implications of our decisions, for us, for our students, for our institutions, and for broader society?

This workshop will introduce several ethical issues related to technology including privacy, data ownership, intellectual property, and access. We will explore how approaches to these ethical issues are built into the technologies we use in varied ways. The workshop will review several common technologies used in teaching and discuss the ethical and pedagogical implications of using these tools.

The workshop Ethical Tech: Choosing Digital Tools for Teaching was offered as as an in-person workshop at the Graduate Center, CUNY in the Spring of 2020. The workshop and materials were developed by Laurie Hurson and Inés Vañó García.

Workshop Materials

All materials on this page and in the linked google folder are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commerical-ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA) 4.0 International Public License.

This folder contains outreach materials, workshop plans and slides, and a handout about ethical tech lingo used in the workshop.

Materials Folder: Ethical Tech: Choosing Digital Tools for Teaching

Workshop Plan

2:30-2:40 | Welcome + Introductions

  • What tech platforms do we use in our teaching?

2:40-3:00 | Brainstorm 

  • What questions should we be asking of these platforms?
  • Handout with Ethical Questions to Consider

3:00-3:30 | Platform Exploration & Discussion

  • Find a partner that uses the same tech platform as you
  • Research and review the platforms’ privacy, data, other policies
  • How do the tools we use in our teaching deal with the ethical tech issues we identified?
  • What surprised us about these platforms we use? What else do we want to know?

3:30-3:40 | Identifying Alternatives

    • What are we (not) looking for in the tech tools we teach with?



3:45-3:55 | Pedagogy & Tech Ethics

  • How do the platforms/tool approach to ethical issues shape our teaching?
  • How can our pedagogical choices mirror/support ethical tech choices?