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Teaching Tech Ethics

Ethics of technology is an increasingly vibrant and important field. I've been involved in several initiatives that build ethical skills among students planning to enter technical fields. 

Experiential Ethics

Experiential Ethics is a collaborative, discussion-based summer course where students gain theoretical and practical tools while reflecting critically on their personal, professional, and political roles. The class can be taken by itself or alongside summer internships. Experiential Ethics has no lecture component: all classes happen in weekly virtual discussion groups. Students complete a project about the ethical dimensions of their summer experiences that they present in a poster showcase each fall.

I was involved with the program from 2021-2023, first as a Teaching Fellow (primary instructor for a small discussion group), and then as Assistant and later Co-Director. In those roles, I have been responsible for logistics, organizing, and outreach for the course; selecting and training cohorts of interdisciplinary teaching fellows in philosophical pedagogy; leading weekly meetings with the teaching team; and revising the syllabus and lesson plans.

 

In 2023, Sonia Maria Pavel and I developed an expanded syllabus that embedded more social and political philosophy, including units on structural injustice and role responsibility. At the end of the revised course, 100% of students reported an increased ability to identify and critically evaluate ethical dimensions of real-world situations, interpret ethical arguments, and advocate for real-world ethical decisions in their communities. You can see our 2023 syllabus here and our evaluation report here.

Embedded EthiCS @ Harvard

Embedded EthiCS brings philosophers into computer science classrooms to teach about ethical implications of the particular topics students learn about in each course. As a Graduate Teaching Fellow, I worked with philosophers and computer science faculty to develop a series of modules which I then taught in computer science lecture courses.

 

You can access write-ups of the modules I developed here: 

I also worked on a repository of ethics of tech resources (including philosophy papers, accessible computer science texts on technical topics, and pedagogy resources) for future use by the Embedded EthiCS program.​

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Sonia Pavel and I presenting about Experiential Ethics at the Technology Ethics eXchange of the Northeast

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