Media Ethics: Ed-Techies Vs. Techies

I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed in you. A little over a week ago, I posted the results of the Media Ethics survey that I conducted (and compared) in connection with the ZDNet survey created by Ed Bott. While I realize that there were no extreme shockers in the results I displayed, not one person has commented on the post or found any interesting in the comparison I made. Only you can change that trend.

Being the gentle persuader that I sometimes am, I guess I'll re-ignite the conversation with a few observations of my own. If the results of our survey do, in fact, reflect reality - then:

  1. Ed-techies are more ethical than the Techies.

    It's no surprise that the Ed-techies appeared, question for question, more ethical than the techies that took the ZDNet survey. Although my students might argue to the contrary, I've maintained all along that teachers are a pretty good bunch, generally friendly, and by and large more honest than the average Joe.

  2. Ed-techies are nearly 2.5 times as likely (than your run-of-the-mill Techie) to NOT strip the DRM out of DRM-protected audio or video in order to make a back up copy.

    If you buy a DRM-protected track from an online music or video store like iTunes, is it proper to strip the DRM and make an unprotected backup copy?

    This is clearly because (1) most teachers don't even know what DRM is, or (2) even if they do know what DRM is, they don't have a clue about how to strip it out of the content. The only other explanation would have to that (3) teachers don't make back up copies of their data - and we all know that's surely not the case.

  3. There's a 50% greater chance that a Techie will use BitTorrent to download their missed TV shows over an Ed-techie.

    If you miss an episode of your favorite TV program from a broadcast network, is it OK to download it from BitTorrent or a file-sharing network?

    Alright class: What's BitTorrent?

    Granted, 99% of the content that is transfered via BitTorrent is probably pirated material. Nevertheless, there are actually legitimate uses for not blocking the pesky little torrent packets that are flying through your district router. When I taught video productions, we used BitTorrent to transfer large video files from machine to machine (and and from room to room). Legitimately, I can envision students from the Flat Classroom Project using BitTorrent to share files with each other (country to country, for that matter). Furthermore, even though I have yet to hear likewise from other sources, one of our district network technicians swears that YouTube packets look exactly like BitTorrent packets - yes, even to the trained eye. Possible implications? (1) YouTube doesn't have high bandwidth costs because it distributes it's content via a torrent-like system and (2) when Johnny is watching Lonelygirl15's latest episode on YouTube, the district network watchdogs actually think he's downloading a pirated copy of Photoshop. Hmmmmm. Then again, we all know that never happens, either.
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