Countries – like China and the UK – are rapidly moving to deploy facial recognition technology in their primary and secondary schools. In the U.S., we would do well to follow a different path. The ACLU is at the forefront of the charge to ensure that doesn’t happen, and they deserve our support for it.
Largely unexamined in the large-scale shift to digital learning in education are the accompanying ethical considerations. Indeed, the issues and tradeoffs that school leaders and teachers face in using technology in schools and for education — whether free or for a fee — are more complex than they have ever been.
Like financial institutions, retailers, and Fortune 500 companies around the world, school districts are increasingly finding themselves and the personal information they hold about students, faculty, and staff targets of costly cyberincidents, including phishing schemes, malware intrusions, and denial of service (DoS) and ransomware attacks.
While increased access to technology has been instrumental to the growth of the OER movement, educational technology choices (often made by schools – and their vendors – on behalf of students) can serve to amplify and/or mute key features of openness. Indeed, the often unspoken relationship between OER and educational technology can be fraught with misplaced assumptions, red flags, value conflicts, and licensing complications.