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Is it ever too early to learn computer ethics?

A panel session by

John Lenarcic
School of Business Information Technology
RMIT University

Computer Ethics attempts to address the question of how Information Technology (IT) practitioners should lead their professional lives. But it has more far-reaching ramifications that impinge upon humanity in general in this technological age.

Computer Ethics is a mandatory course prerequisite for anyone wishing to become an accredited IT professional in either Australia or the USA. Unfortunately, anecdotal evidence suggests that many students find traditional presentations of the subject boring and irrelevant to their chosen career paths. This would seem to be especially true if the students are compelled to undertake any kind of theoretical philosophy as part of their IT Ethics training. Perhaps the answer would be to commence dedicated IT Ethics training at secondary school level or even earlier. How feasible is this proposal?

Please cite as: Lenarcic, J. (2002). Is it ever too early to learn computer ethics? In S. McNamara and E. Stacey (Eds), Untangling the Web: Establishing Learning Links. Proceedings ASET Conference 2002. Melbourne, 7-10 July.

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