GCSE Ethical Legal and Environmental Issues

Knowledge of the wider implications of computer use helps students to make informed decisions about their actions. There are many ethical questions and ideas which underpin computer science. It is both necessary and desirable for users to engage with these to avoid actions detrimental to their own social well-being and that of the people around them.

Links and Resources

Ready Player One - Introducing EMSL aspects of the curriculum

Note - These lessons use the book 'Ready Player One' as a starting point, teachers will need to obtain a copy of the book before using the content, the school library may have a copy that could be used.

This resource consists of a series of lessons looking at various aspects of Ethical, Moral, Social and Environmental Issues surrounding the use of computers.  They give students a grasp of some of the implications and ideas which surround our continued use of technology in ever increasing aspects of our lives. The lessons included in the resource include the following topics: Ethical, Moral and Social implications of Virtual Schools. Keeping Data Safe and Secure. Plagiarism and Copyright. What Data is routinely collected about us and by whom? Environmental Impact of Technology. Health Implications of Technology Use. Consider the Ethical Implications of Computer Use. Although the resource claims to be aimed at Key Stage 3, the content is at a high enough level that this could easily be used with little adaptation, with students in Key Stage 4. Each of the lessons focuses on a different chapter of the book, it would be useful for teachers to acquire a copy of the novel before undertaking these lessons. Although once the film adaptation is released, it may be possible to use video clips of that, to illustrate the points being made.

 

publication year
2010 to date

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Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural aspects in Computing

This resource consists of a series of suggested activities and dozens of topic starters for aspects of Computer Science and ICT relating to the Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural aspects of the subject. With questions s diverse as Do computers have intelligence? Do animals have souls? If computers are intelligent do they have souls? Are online friends, real friends@ To more general discussions around copyright and intellectual property rights, these topics will allow teachers of Computer Science to bring a diverse range of opinions and debate into their lessons.

publication year
2010 to date

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Factors affecting the use of ICT

This resource consists of a presentation and some supporting materials to enable students to research and create their own presentation around the ideas that there are Ethical, Legal and Environmental Issues surrounding the use of ICT in Business and Educational surroundings. The presentation sets the scene, students are expected to work in groups of 2-3 to produce a presentation (the suggestion is to use Google's presentation software but any suitable tool could be used) looking at one of the factors which might influence the way in which an organisation makes use of ICT. These can then be shared with other members of the class (either using the suggested shared Google folder, or via some other mechanism). There are help sheets to support students with ideas applicable to each of the factor listed, Ethical, Legal or Environmental. 

publication year
2010 to date

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Computer Games vs Sport

This resource from the IET looks at the social and health related issues, by asking students to consider whether playing video games can equate to doing sport. The resource contains a detailed lesson plan, which includes suggestions for differentiated activity along with extension tasks. There is also a writing frame and a handout for students to glean information from, in addition to their use of the internet. The presentation which accompanies the activity is more general and talks about products and their benefits, as a starting point for similar activities involving other areas of discussion.  

publication year
2010 to date

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Why computer systems must be reliable

This lesson focuses on the reliability of computer systems, and specifically how this applies in the case of self driving cars, and what some of the implications might be if this reliability is not demonstrated. Students begin by compiling arguments for and against automated vehicles in teams on each table, they are then asked to argue either for or against depending on their area of research. They then move on to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of computers and humans in various situations. After discussing the various viewpoints students move on to look at ways of ensuring reliability and safety in these sorts of systems. Finally they look at a past exam question and how marks would be awarded in the exam. There are videos which may or may not automatically appear in the presentation depending on the way school systems are configured, links to them can be found in the document which contains an overview of the scheme of work

publication year
2010 to date

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Computers in the Modern World

This article discusses using mini battery powered computers to sense, and report back environmental data across a wide area in the Lake District. It talks about some of the ways in which this type of robot. This article discusses using mini battery powered computers to sense, and report back environmental data across a wide area in the Lake District. It talks about some of the ways in which this type of robot might be used in the future for environmental monitoring, and what the effects could be. This could form the basis for either a research task or an essay question to help students develop their skills when it comes to long answer questions in the GCSE exam. might be used in the future for environmental monitoring, and what the effects could be. This could form the basis for either a research task or an essay question to help students develop their skills when it comes to long answer questions in the GCSE exam.

publication year
2010 to date

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Is the grass always greener

This article discusses using mini battery powered computers to sense, and report back environmental data across a wide area in the Lake District. It talks about some of the ways in which this type of robotThis article discusses using mini battery powered computers to sense, and report back environmental data across a wide area in the Lake District. It talks about some of the ways in which this type of robot might be used in the future for environmental monitoring, and what the effects could be. This could form the basis for either a research task or an essay question to help students develop their skills when it comes to long answer questions in the GCSE exam. might be used in the future for environmental monitoring, and what the effects could be. This could form the basis for either a research task or an essay question to help students develop their skills when it comes to long answer questions in the GCSE exam.

publication year
2010 to date

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Protecting the Da Vinci code

This article from the CS4FN Magazine, looks into the ideas surrounding Intellectual Property, copyright, copyleft and patents and how these all apply (or don't) in the realm of computer programming and software. These ideas can be used as the basis of various class discussions, research tasks and essay topics to help prepare students for their GCSE Computer Science papers. 

publication year
2010 to date

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