Being able to think deeply and critically about technology and its implications is becoming as important as understanding computer science and knowing how to code.
This is because the technology we currently have is directly related to the perspectives, values and even biases of the technologists who create it.
To help kids develop critical thinking skills, NewTechKids is developing new lessons and teaching resources which help primary school-aged kids explore the ethics of technology.
Our goal is to teach kids formal ethical frameworks early which they can use for the rest of their lives when making decisions about technology, whether they are technology users or creators.
About the Lessons
Our lessons will help kids to evaluate technology and how it affects them and those around them according to what they believe is right or wrong, the pros and cons of technology, and what types of rules they think should be in place to ensure that technology is fair, useful and respectful of people’s privacy, data, and autonomy.
Our lessons will also encourage kids to think about the characteristics and values that companies which create technology should reflect and display through their technology.
Subject Matter Expertise
For the past four years, NewTechKids has integrated class discussions about technology, its implications and ethics into our lessons. We are now applying formal thinking frameworks and academic theories to enable kids to further explore issues we regularly cover, including online privacy, data usage, surveillance, decision-making algorithms and social media.
We are co-creating the lesson series with Lara Mikocki, a subject matter expert who is currently studying for a Masters in Applied Ethics. Lara is a kindred spirit: passionate about nurturing kids to become more conscious about the role that technology is playing in their lives.
This summer, we will also be sharing a PreparationTech video interview featuring David Ryan Polgar, a tech ethicist who is also a Content Advisory Board member for TikTok. Tech ethicists is a fairly new career specialization and role that parents, teachers and school guidance counsellors should know about.