I&E 290-01: Designing Ethical Tech

Fall 2020; Spring 2021

Instructor: Aria Chernik

No technology is value-neutral. In this course, students will investigate the intersections of design, ethics and technology. The course will ask how technologies can reinforce forms of freedom and oppression; how digital innovations, such as machine learning and algorithmic automation, can promulgate racism and sexism; and how technology design encodes intentional and unintentional biases.

In this learner-driven, project-based, experiential course, students will have an opportunity to interview and learn alongside industry and education leaders working in the field of designing ethical tech. Students will learn how principles derived from various “open” movements—like open source software and open education—might help us design solutions that resist oppressive technology. Students will learn the theory and praxis of open design, a variation of design thinking and human-centered design, to co-create the primary project deliverable: a “real-world” open educational resource for high school learners about ethical technology.

Curriculum Codes

EI, STS