Discussing Ethics in Technology Design

I was recently listening to a TED talk in which behavioral economist Dan Ariely discussed why 86% of drivers in Sweden are organ donors while that same number is only 4% in Denmark. It turns out that this difference is not the result of a cultural or ethical divide but rather an opt-out (Sweden) versus opt-in (Denmark) organ donation checkbox at the bottom of their respective DMV forms. In both instances, most individuals did not bother to check the box. Many of the choices we make are influenced, if not made, by designers of technology.

Get SMART!

You’ve seen the posters advertising popsicle sales, you’ve heard about the coin drive, and you’ve bought cookies from the Build-A-Bakery bake sale. Perhaps you’ve even had a parents’ night out in support of Hungry Tummies.

Creative Rest

After over a decade in education, I’ve learned a few things about seasons. Fall is full of excitement, winter brings the holiday bustle, and by March many of us are ready for a long spring nap – a time to recoup, reboot, and rest.
 
Parallel this to children and the similarities exist, but most kids do not longingly pine to nap through spring break. Children beg to play, to experiment, and to dig in the dirt. They cartwheel through the meadow. They run barefoot through the grass. They finger paint.

The Importance of Outdoor Fun

I grew up in the Northeast, where the weather was far less predictable than sunny Santa Barbara and time outside during school wasn’t always consistent. I remember the feeling of having an indoor recess during a particularly bad snowstorm, or when temperatures had reached the negatives.

A Heart-Felt Valentine’s Day

If a person walked into the fifth grade classrooms two weeks ago, a new type of Valentine’s Day party would have pleasantly surprised them. Instead of candy and treats, one of our fifth grade moms, organized an afternoon of activities focused literally on the heart. She contacted the American Heart Association, Dr.

The Importance of Collaboration

To address this year’s art theme, Above and Below, I felt glass artist Dale Chihuly hit the mark. I set out to design a group art piece that would include the whole Upper School, use light as another art material, and create consciousness about all the plastic we use and its potential as an art material.

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