Forgot to announce here that recently I did a blog post about where I summarized some great work by @axbom I heard about here on Mastodon! Per has produced a fantastic list of various areas in digital ethics, most (all?) of which are also relevant to educational technology.

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@Downes @axbom Yes, I can see that it’s important to focus also on what we aim *for*. Sometimes I find it can be helpful to start with what I find to be a problem and work backwards to help me reflect on why I think that, so what I think the goal is. Having both, and tying them together, is indeed important.

This is a relevant concern, but could perhaps be explained by the difference between applied ethics and normative ethics.

While normative ethics develops moral theories about how people should behave, in applied ethics I am of the notion that people don’t need to agree on a moral theory—instead agreeing to solutions to ethical dilemmas by reviewing facts and related harms of a specific situation.

The chart helps identify common situations in digital development.



That said, it would be interesting to pursue a line of thinking where product development teams were to define an ethical pursuit as soon as they decide to make new products and services, that they could use to align their development with.

My concern then would be that there is significant lack of understanding about all the things that the product affects when it comes to human and universal wellbeing. My ambition is to close those gaps in understanding.



I often try to compare with medical ethics, which of course is a more mature category of applied ethics. Avoidance of harm is often the pursuit, and the challenge is to identify ways of acting that reduce potential harm, or help the patients be informed enough to consent in situations where there is a great deal of risk involved.

We have a ways to go before we have anything akin to the Hippocratic Oath for digital designers and software developers however.


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