Ethics – You can teach ethics but you cannot teach someone to be an ethical person, or can you? This blog post considers ethics education, videosharing and videosharing for ethics education.
A post considering photo sharing from Dan, a fellow student in our summer course, got me pondering the whole idea of ethics and teaching ethics. Dan’s insights on his blog post were effective in starting the conversation. I commented on his blog post that one of my thoughts that I share with students on the WHY of plagiarism is the ethic of reciprocity (aka, Golden Rule or treat others the way you would like to be treated). You can have them consider how they might feel if they put time and effort or creative power into a project and then someone else uses it and claims the recognition for their efforts. Dan posted a comment in response to reciprocity. On my first read, Dan’s response to my comment post seemed to me to excuse plagiarism and copyright infringement because students have new conceptions of sharing in the web 2.0 world. I see upon re-reading and reflection though that he is not excusing but offering an explanation. We are all learning through collaboration, in this course, and through our respective blogs. Dan was able to share with me how he believes the youth today might be thinking about these topics, “Plagiarism is like stealing and for kids today, unless there is the physical theft of something (a watch, a purse, a car), it is not really seen as theft. Downloading a movie or ripping off a picture is simply called downloading or “sharing” and seen as acceptable.” Dan also introduced me to a new term torrents and I am now aware that there exists this whole cyber world of torrents which was unknown to me before our blog conversation. There is even a whole new terminology that goes along with torrents and Dan defined torrents and the lingo for me in his reply comments, “The Golden Rule, a tried and true classic. I think, Heather, that students would say they don’t mind another person taking their work. It is the collaborative mentality of young people (for the most part). It is almost this quid pro quo attitude of if I rip something off of someone else, they can rip it off of me. This language is used in the world of torrents as well. For those of you who may not be aware, torrents are information files that link a torrent downloader to files on a variety of different computers so that someone can download it. It is a peer-to-peer file transfer program. When someone has the whole file available for download to everybody else, they are called a seeder. When someone does not have the full file and is simply downloading it, they are called a leecher. The terminology shows how those that are sharing are seen in a much better light than those that are not.”
“It’s completely legal to create technical solutions. The reason people get dragged into legal proceedings is that they break copyright laws, which I have never done.” Bram Cohen
From the article, The BitTorrent guru keeps it legal: Avoids brushes with the law
This is not a new area in cyberspace but P2P protocals and file downloading torrents are a whole new area for me that I have been oblivious about. I am sure as I progress further into considering other web 2.0 topics, I will keep discovering new items to consider and new reasons to remain engaged in my technological development. At times like these, I am not just engaged but I am aslo surprised at the fountain of knowledge that lies at our disposal online and about all that is web 2.0. If torrent, P2P (peer-to-peer), leecher, and seeder are new terms for you to0, consider checking out a few of the sites that I used to learn more about this ‘new to me’ world. Mininova is the largest torrent search engine on the net and the faq page for the site provides definitions about torrents and related terminology, http://www.mininova.org/faq. They also touch on the legality of downloading torrent files and although they do not host copyrighted data they do have tips on removing torrents from their site if copyright holders prefer to not have their metadata files on their site. Wikipedia fully explains bitTorrent, protocol for P2P file sharing.
Back to the topic of teaching ethics to our students, I believe we have a responsibility to teach ethics to our student and it does not hurt to discuss the ethics of reciprocity, aka “The Golden Rule.” When our office finalizes our curriculum and lesson plans at the end of this summer, ethics is an area will be addressing and we have already begun a dialogue on considering adding an ‘ethics case study’ into our Business Cooperative Education (co-op) seminars and workshops that we will teach in the fall.
Since this blog assignment requires me to consider the ins and outs for video sharing and the implications for using video in our educational setting, I have decided to see how we might use videos to have our co-op students learn about ethics in business. I started searching for YouTube videos that might suit our purpose and had no difficulty in finding some fine footage to consider. Then I thought that I would just learn how to put videos on my blog but of course, it crossed my mind that “hey, these aren’t my creative work, let’s see what I need to consider before putting them on my blog.” Wow, what a lot to consider! I found a pertinent article by Jonathan Bailey from The Blog Herald, Copyright Risks in Embedding YouTube Clips. Bailey notes that the read/write web (aka web 2.0, visit Will Richarson’s video tab on his website, and check out his video’s on defining read/write web and learn why he prefers this terminology over web 2.0) brings about new challenges to copyright infringement and issues of fair use. The article gives a list of precautions and some insights and suggests that “Even though the odds of actually being sued or threatened with a suit for embedding a YouTube clip are slim, it is still worthwhile to take a few simple precautions to make certain you don’t have problems down the road: 1. Don’t embed clearly infringing material, 2. Embed from official channels, 3. Stick to popular amateur clips, 4. Say something about it, 5. When in doubt, link don’t embed.”
I did find several videos from YouTube, www.youtube.com, that I am comfortable sharing here. I am confident that they can be used as platforms for starting inspiring and educational discussions and can be used as conversation starters in our introductory seminars and workshops for students who are newly admitted into our Cooperative Education Program. This Business Ethics video presents ethical dilemma’s that could occur in business. The YouTube description is that “This is a business ethics video Elizabethtown College SIFE created to teach high schoolers about business ethics in the workplace. It is a great tool for educators helping them provoke discuss about business ethics.” As of today, the video has had almost 26,000 views and has been favorited 91 times (one of these is from me). I was able to insert it by using the add video tool in the WordPress editor. The editor allows for users to either upload a video, if you have a saved video, or you can insert the URL of your chosen video if it is online. The upload feature has the capability to upload these file types : jpg, jpeg, png, gif, pdf, doc, ppt, odt, pptx, docx.
An excellent and thought provoking video that can be used to begin discussions on career planning and the changing future is the Video Did You Know? A version of this video is listed as one of the top 100 on TeacherTube. I embedded it into my blog below, earlier today using my new video sharing account from VodPod. It is simple to use VodPod and there are multiple ways to use it on WordPress, including a widget sidebar which I will be playing with and the ability to embed directly to my blog which I did to get the Did You Know? video sent to my blog. I find VodPod is a great place to save my favorite videos. I also now have a YouTube account which I was able to sign up for through my Google account. Again, Google found another way to integrate web 2.0 tools with each other and I am sure it is beneficial for all my classmates who chose to blog using Google’s Blogger. The YouTube account enables one to upload, bookmark, and share videos and also has a subscription feature so that you can subscribe to see when new videos are uploaded from your favourite contributors.
Here are a couple of additional links to other ethic’s related YouTube’s:
The owner of this video, “The Case of Mistaken Integrity” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH2if8844Jg, has requested that embedding be disabled but you can view by following the youtube link. It was “The second-place winning video, The Case of Mistaken Integrity tracks down possible suspects in violation of the KPMG integrity policies. See what interns really think about KPMG’s commitment to professionalism and integrity in the “Integrity at KPMG” intern video contest.” I think this video contest is a great way to engage students in considering ethics.
Code of ethics, underlying philosophy, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5LnPFeuuFQ&feature=related is another video exploring ethics. This video covers the topic of a code of ethics for business conduct and touches upon notions of right and wrong.
Here is a video from a series on the importance of considering ethics for accountants? This video from expertvillage, is located on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-SpuAXSbEg. The video descriptor states, “Ethics are important in accounting to maintain the level of trust with companies and independence to perform necessary auditing functions. Understand how the accountants ethics are regulated by the AICPA with tips from a certified public account in this free video on accounting.”
It may be open for debate whether we can teach someone ethical behaviour but it is certain that we can teach ethics and focus on topics of ethical behavior and then the behavior is in the hands of the individual. For the full thread of the discussion that started this blog’s considerations you can visit Dan’s post and comments: http://mrcoles.wordpress.com/2009/07/09/photo-sharing-the-captured-world-the-plagiarized-world/ the conversation continues and valid posts that enrich this discussion have been added by our Professor Jenn, and Ruth another classmate. Feel free to comment on my blog or to add to our discussion on Dan’s blog – we’re all here to learn and share!
Stand up and take notice – in the news a story is unfolding about infringement of copyright laws:
Woman Fined $1.9 Million for Downloading 24 Songs What do you think of the judgment? Do you believe copyright infringement should be illegal? Is “sharing” ethical? What are the rules that we as students and teachers need to consider and are these rules accessible’; are they easy to understand? Where do you go to find out if you are allowed to use content from others on your blogs and how do you determine how to go about appropriately recognizing other people’s work?