Special Topics: Current Issues Online Course

Special Topics: Current Issues Online Course

 

$85.00$245.00

These mini-courses offer a quick overview of three current topics connected to science, technology, and values that are relevant to us today. Part 1:  Should Cars Drive Themselves?; Part 2: Who Killed the Climate?: Investigation and Inquiry; and Part 3: We are All Digital Citizens.

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Product Description

Animals and Us Online Course

Course Length: 12 weeks (can be split into 3 mini courses of 4 weeks each)
Recommended Age: 10+
Meets: Thursdays, 12pm, for 12 weeks, starting January 30
Students may register for individual parts or the entire class.

Course Description for Special Topics: Current Issues

These mini-courses offer a quick overview of three current topics connected to science, technology, and values that are relevant to us today. 

To purchase a 4-week session, choose one of the links when checking out.

You can purchase two session if you want by adding each separately to your cart. 

All Course Materials Provided with the class and are included in the course fee. 

Part 1:  Should Cars Drive Themselves? – Starts Thursday, 2/13 at 12 EST

Should we give control of our cars to computers?  What are the pros and cons of this?

With the status quo showing that humans are bad at driving cars because we easily get distracted and don’t make rational judgements under pressure, are we fooling ourselves into thinking that humans are safer than we actually are?

This course will be a short, intensive exploration of self-driving cars and the issues surrounding them today.  We will practice critical thinking, question framing, and analysis based on research. Students will be expected to do independent research to prepare for class discussions.   

Texts

“All Hail the Driverless Car!” – IQ2 US Debate

Outline

  • Introduction to topic
  • Watch and discuss “All Hail the Driverless Car!” (2 weeks)
  • Background research: status quo driving statistics
  • Background research: history of self-driving cars and algorithms
  • Analysis and Discussion: putting these together

Part 2: Who Killed the Climate?: Investigation and Inquiry – Starts Thursday, 3/12

This topic-specific course will do a deep dive on the topic of climate change.  We will frame this like a murder mystery “whodunnit”: starting with current projections about climate change and the disasters that we see, we will work backwards using living history methods to reconstruct the series of events and decisions that led us to where we are now. This will be an immersive and engaging method for learning the history and politics of climate science, climate policy, and environmental regulations. 

Students will be expected to prepare for each class meeting by independently investigating a focus question using resources freely available, like internet archives and searches, as well as library resources.  This will be a discussion heavy course, and students will be expected to contribute through voice or text communications during class in an interactive way with the instructor and classmates.  

Students will choose a subtopic related to the course topic to focus on to prepare a 3 minute briefing for the final class meeting. 

Part 3: We are All Digital Citizens – Starts Thursday, 4/9

This course is an introduction to the concept of digital citizenship, an awareness that when we interact with people in online and other digital spaces our conduct matters. While there are risks that we should be aware of, there are choices we can make to be safer and to make a positive climate for everyone. We will look at different types of digital spaces like games, social media, and discussion forums and will discuss risks and responsibilities for each. 

Topics: 

  • What is Digital Citizenship, and how are we all citizens of the online space? 
  • Citizenship in games: playing well with others
  • Conflict in Social Media: how to discuss issues respectfully
  • Managing privacy

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Additional Information

Online Classes

12-week session, 4-week session Part 1: Should Cars Drive Themselves?, 4-week session Part 2: Who Killed the Climate?: Investigation and Inquiry, 4-week session Part 3: We are All Digital Citizens

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