How does digital community affect kids' ethics?

Howard Gardner of multiple intelligences fame is studying it in the “GoodPlay Project” to find out.
While the report is not fully out, its implications are fascinating.
Howard Gardner, Harvard Graduate School of Education from Education Week on Vimeo

Especially interesting to me were a few findings:

*most of our studentsdownload music illegally without compunction. Only “students who have a personal stake in or some experience with the harmful consequences of Internet piracy” won’t do it.

*there is in digital kids uncertainty over authority–who owns what? None seem too sure anymore if any copyright is in efect. Their generation has a generalized skepticism and cynicism toward all truth claims

They claim to present themselves accurately, honestly, on-line “keeping it real.”

Here was a paragraph that made me think, “a-ha! Get the students blogging!”

An accurate self-representation was…important to bloggers, who saw it as key to keeping their semi-professional reputations. Apart from bloggers, though, few students felt a sense of responsibility to the communities they encountered online, the GoodPlay researchers found.

With digital media, children grow up with a different view of authority than their parents and grandparents. It was centralized, and “disinterested.” Now they recognize few authorities, and expect presentations to be “transparent,” plastic, and democratic.

Gardner seems to disapprove when he notes the great paradox that for all their distrust of authority, most young people go to the most cited source (he mentions Wikipedia) look no further.

It used to be “the textbook” and “the teacher,” he says. “Now it’s the wild west.”

Last time I looked, students were being held accountable for infractions online. And there are no masked desperadoes here. We know who is behind every mask. And when we get the “bad guys,” we don’t hang them up in Buzzard Gulch–we re-educate them, right?

I almost want to say, “Hey, Howard, come out of Fort Defiance! The natives are friendly, mostly! And those who won’t conform can be safely contained. Or such is my experience so far…”

One response to “How does digital community affect kids' ethics?”

  1. your blog more info ,make me excited. Congratulation!!. I come again


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