DHC Weekly 4/5: Ethical EdTech

Hello DH-er’s! This week on the blog I’m profiling a project that recently passed through the DHC — on March 29th, we hosted, along with some folks from Columbia Libraries, an inaugural edit-a-thon event centered on the idea of ethical EdTech.

Ethical EdTech is educational technology that does not cost money, sell students’ data, or lock users into proprietary suites and systems. Ethical EdTech is hard to find, however, when institutions have relationships with peddlers of more profit-seeking educational technology (like how many schools use google suites for their institutional communcation — Barnard included).  From this conundrum arose the Ethical EdTech wiki, a collaboration between Erin Glass of UCSD and Nathan Schneider of CU Boulder, that now boasts dozens of active contributers. 

The Ethical EdTech wiki collects tools that, in the words of the wiki itself:

  • provide students and educators with greater control over their data and greater understanding of data collection practices
  • avoid commercialization of the educational experience and the power relations involved in it
  • expose students to the principles and practices of free/libre/open software
  • foster more participatory, critical modes of relating to software
  • teach students how to recreate ethical tech practices outside of the classroom

Tools with pages on the wiki range from LibreOffice, an open-source alternative to the Microsoft Office Suite; to the CUNY Academic Commons, a WordPress-based academic platform; to Atom, an open-source plain-text editor commonly used in software development.

At our edit-a-thon, we added pages the wiki, which as it currently stands is small but ever-growing. If you have any interest in open source and/or ethical pedagogical tools, why not make an account?! Check out the contribute page for a list of tools that need pages!

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