The other day, I was talking to one of my GT classes about the possibility of our Maker Studio classroom getting a 3D Printer through Donors Choose.
“Can’t those be used to make guns?” one student, who apparently pays some attention to current events, asked.
“Those should be banned, then,” said another student.
This brought up a great discussion about technology, and the inventions, through time, that have had both positive and negative impacts on our society. How many creations have been designed to help people or address a particular need, but ended up being harmful to us (or the other living things on this planet) as well? And, how many, if any, were created for violent purposes, but ended up being helpful in the right hands?
We have also been reading The Giver, and discussing the fine line between freedom and safety, a connection which one student quickly brought up.
Ultimately, the class decided that getting a 3D printer would be a great idea – and that we would commit to using it for good if the project gets funded 😉
Since then, I’ve run across a couple of videos that show how some current controversial technologies have changed lives for the better. My hope is that we can educate our students to become innovators who are wary of possible negative consequences from new technologies, but find multiple ways to bury those detrimental uses with the positive benefits of their creations.