Connected Learning and Nuggets: Is the web Good or Bad?

Connected Courses are a collection of higher education faculties who are collaborating to provide and develop online, open courses which will facilitate the learning of teachers and students. A part of this exercise involves taking a passage or part of a work that you find interesting, and making it more meaningful, using media, such as images, video or even hyperlinks. I chose a passage from ‘Answers for Young People’, written by Sir Tim Berners Lee. The work is made up of a number of questions and replies made by the inventor of the web. An answer which I found particularly interesting, was Berners Lee’s response to the question, “So do you think the Web is basically been a good idea or a bad one?”


“Some people point out that the Web can be used for all the wrong things. For downloading pictures of horrible, gruesome, violent or obscene things, or ways of making bombs which terrorists could use. Other people say how their lives have been saved because they found out about the disease they had on the Web, and figured out how to cure it. I think the main thing to remember is that any really powerful thing can be used for good or evil. Dynamite can be used to build tunnels or to make missiles. Engines can be put in ambulances or tanks. Nuclear power can be used for bombs or for electrical power. So what is made of the Web is up to us.

You, me, and everyone else.

Here is my hope.

The Web is a tool for communicating.”

Sir Tim Berners Lee.


I think the main premise of this passage highlights the fact that the internet IS completely neutral, and that it can be used in good or bad ways. I do however, think that some of the comments are a little naive, maybe a product of the time, and it’s possible that if the same question were asked again, maybe Berners Lee’s answer may change, especially regarding the internet being accessible, free to all and away from the control of large, influential corporations. I added some media which express my opinions on the passage.

Some people point out that the Web can be used for all the wrong things. For downloading pictures of horrible, gruesome, violent or obscene things, or ways of making bombs which terrorists could use.

Other people say how their lives have been saved because they found out about the disease they had on the Web, and figured out how to cure it.

I think the main thing to remember is that any really powerful thing can be used for good or evil.

Dynamite can be used to build tunnels or to make missiles. Engines can be put in ambulances or tanks. Nuclear power can be used for bombs or for electrical power.

So what is made of the Web is up to us. You, me, and everyone else.

Here is my hope.

The Web is a tool for communicating.


Websites:

http://connectedcourses.net/thecourse/web-concept-platform-cultures/

http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/Kids.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/28/the-internet-saved-my-life_n_1918112.html

Technology is Destroying the Quality of Human Interaction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2V9-3ZwnIU

Internet: Good or Bad? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRZT-WNIAWs

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