Mobile Learning: a Meta-Ethical Taxonomy Dr. Robert Farrow IADIS Mobile Learning Conference 2011 The Open University's Ins...
Context: m-learning <ul><li>Encourage “anywhere, anytime” learning </li></ul><ul><li>Improving accessibility </li></ul><ul...
Context: m-learning <ul><li>New pedagogical possibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Accommodating learner needs </li></ul><ul><li>...
Context: ethics <ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy...
Problem(s) <ul><li>The use of mobile technologies in educational contexts raises a number of ethical issues </li></ul><ul>...
Four (largely assertive) theses <ul><li>Ethics is difficult to analyse! </li></ul><ul><li>Most educational technologists f...
The MOTILL Project (2009-10) <ul><li>Mobile devices are inclusive and widely used  </li></ul><ul><li>Building an evidence ...
The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Arrigo, M.  et al  (eds.), 2010
Why Meta-ethics? <ul><li>Philosophers often distinguish two areas of ethics </li></ul><ul><li>NORMATIVE ETHICS (prescripti...
Dominant meta-ethical theories <ul><li>DEONTOLOGICAL </li></ul><ul><li>CONSEQUENTIALIST </li></ul><ul><li>VIRTUE ETHICS </...
Deontological Meta-ethics <ul><li>Literally, the ‘science of duty’ from the Greek δέον [ deon ] meaning obligation or duty...
Consequentialist Meta-ethics <ul><li>Assesses the ‘rightness’ or ‘wrongness’ of actions specifically in terms of their con...
Virtue Meta-ethics <ul><li>Focuses upon the desirability of traits, skills and characteristics of agents </li></ul><ul><li...
Meta-ethics: summary <ul><li>Each type of theory has strengths and weaknesses </li></ul><ul><li>There is much debate both ...
Relating to m-learning The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Meta-ethics Ethical Issues in m-learning ...
The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology
The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology ETHICS
ETHICS LEARNING OUTCOMES POLICIES & RULES PEDAGOGICAL RELATIONSHIPS
Revised Tool The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Ethical Concerns  in m-Learning Taxonomy Responsibi...
Potential Uses <ul><li>Evaluation of m-learning projects/activities </li></ul><ul><li>Stakeholder analysis </li></ul><ul><...
[email_address]   Institute of Educational Technology The Open University Walton Hall Milton Keynes, UK MK7 6AA <ul><li>ww...
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Mobile learing: a Meta-Ethical Taxonomy

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In this paper I discuss some of the ethical issues relating to the use of mobile technologies in education. I argue that the frames of reference used by educators and technologists fail to capture the nature, scope and impact of ethical issues in mobile learning. A taxonomy of ethical issues based on dominant positions in meta-ethical moral theory is proposed. Using categories from the Mobile Technologies in Lifelong Learning (MOTILL) project, I show how this taxonomy can be applied in such a way as to facilitate understanding of ethical issues in mobile learning.

Presented at IADIS M-Learning, Avila, Spain, 2010 (http://www.mlearning-conf.org/)

Published in: Education, Technology
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  • Developing a method for identifying key elements of the relationship between mobile technology and lifelong learning Providing a tool to assist partners in the identification and assessment of mobile lifelong learning projects A framework for the rank and comparison of effective uses of mobile technology in lifelong learning A system for capturing best practice ‘scientifically’ A way of highlighting shortcomings in present practices and opportunities for the future
  • This doesn’t capture the interconnectedness...
  • Mobile learing: a Meta-Ethical Taxonomy

    1. 1. Mobile Learning: a Meta-Ethical Taxonomy Dr. Robert Farrow IADIS Mobile Learning Conference 2011 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology
    2. 2. Context: m-learning <ul><li>Encourage “anywhere, anytime” learning </li></ul><ul><li>Improving accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Improve 21st-century social interactions </li></ul><ul><li>Fit with learning environments </li></ul><ul><li>Enable a personalized learning experience </li></ul><ul><li>Schuler (2009) </li></ul>The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology
    3. 3. Context: m-learning <ul><li>New pedagogical possibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Accommodating learner needs </li></ul><ul><li>Access to information </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Context-specific </li></ul><ul><li>Organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul>The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology
    4. 4. Context: ethics <ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy/Sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Protecting information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Personal time </li></ul>The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology <ul><li>Personal space </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural change/resistance </li></ul><ul><li>Professional standards </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional support </li></ul><ul><li>Research ethics & ‘informed consent’ </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring (esp. children) </li></ul>
    5. 5. Problem(s) <ul><li>The use of mobile technologies in educational contexts raises a number of ethical issues </li></ul><ul><li>How can we grasp these issues when nature and use of technologies develops so quickly? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we give guidance without being prescriptive? </li></ul>The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology
    6. 6. Four (largely assertive) theses <ul><li>Ethics is difficult to analyse! </li></ul><ul><li>Most educational technologists focus on research ethics, not ethics per se </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse contexts of application in m-learning further complicate matters </li></ul><ul><li>The advocacy problem </li></ul>The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology
    7. 7. The MOTILL Project (2009-10) <ul><li>Mobile devices are inclusive and widely used </li></ul><ul><li>Building an evidence base for assessing the impact of mobile technologies upon lifelong learning </li></ul><ul><li>Integration of mobile technologies into lifelong learning policies </li></ul><ul><li>Developing the digital economy and contributing toward meeting the various targets for lifelong learning </li></ul>The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology
    8. 8. The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Arrigo, M. et al (eds.), 2010
    9. 9. Why Meta-ethics? <ul><li>Philosophers often distinguish two areas of ethics </li></ul><ul><li>NORMATIVE ETHICS (prescriptive) </li></ul><ul><li>How should we behave? </li></ul><ul><li>What beliefs/values should we have? </li></ul><ul><li>Which ‘rules’ should we follow? </li></ul><ul><li>META-ETHICS (reconstructive) </li></ul><ul><li>What does our moral language mean? </li></ul><ul><li>Do our moral concepts make sense? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the relationship between values, reasons & actions? </li></ul>
    10. 10. Dominant meta-ethical theories <ul><li>DEONTOLOGICAL </li></ul><ul><li>CONSEQUENTIALIST </li></ul><ul><li>VIRTUE ETHICS </li></ul>The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology
    11. 11. Deontological Meta-ethics <ul><li>Literally, the ‘science of duty’ from the Greek δέον [ deon ] meaning obligation or duty and -λογία, [ -logia ] meaning ‘rational inquiry’ </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasizes duties, obligations, responsibilities & rights </li></ul><ul><li>Actions are usually either forbidden or permitted </li></ul><ul><li>Are there conflicts between duties, or exceptions? </li></ul><ul><li>m-learning: what is expected of teachers and learners in an m-learning scenario? </li></ul>
    12. 12. Consequentialist Meta-ethics <ul><li>Assesses the ‘rightness’ or ‘wrongness’ of actions specifically in terms of their consequences/outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Moral calculus’? (metrics) </li></ul><ul><li>Agent-neutral: considers ‘the whole picture’, aggregating the effects on all relevant parties </li></ul><ul><li>Counter-intuitive? </li></ul><ul><li>m-learning: how can we understand the impact of changing practices and technologies? </li></ul>
    13. 13. Virtue Meta-ethics <ul><li>Focuses upon the desirability of traits, skills and characteristics of agents </li></ul><ul><li>Virtue ethicists believe that ethics is about cultivating the qualities and habits that contribute to a good or ‘flourishing’ life [ eudemonia ] </li></ul><ul><li>m-learning: acquiring and making use of the relevant technological, didactic, communicative and social skills </li></ul>
    14. 14. Meta-ethics: summary <ul><li>Each type of theory has strengths and weaknesses </li></ul><ul><li>There is much debate both between and among different schools of thought </li></ul><ul><li>Hybrid approaches are common in philosophical ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Meta-ethics helps us to clarify and analyse our moral intuitions rather than provide specific guidance on how to act </li></ul>The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology
    15. 15. Relating to m-learning The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Meta-ethics Ethical Issues in m-learning Deontological Responsibilities Consequentialist Outcomes (Results) Virtue Ethics Personal Development
    16. 16. The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology
    17. 17. The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology ETHICS
    18. 18. ETHICS LEARNING OUTCOMES POLICIES & RULES PEDAGOGICAL RELATIONSHIPS
    19. 19. Revised Tool The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Ethical Concerns in m-Learning Taxonomy Responsibilities Pedagogical Relationships Personal Development Learning Outcomes (General) Outcomes Policies & Rules Accessibility Privacy & Security Copyright
    20. 20. Potential Uses <ul><li>Evaluation of m-learning projects/activities </li></ul><ul><li>Stakeholder analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Policy Review </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioner Reflection </li></ul>The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology
    21. 21. [email_address] Institute of Educational Technology The Open University Walton Hall Milton Keynes, UK MK7 6AA <ul><li>www.open.ac.uk/iet </li></ul>

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