ERIC Number: ED292710
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987-Nov
Science, Technology, and the Constitution: A Never Ending Tension.
Marker, Gerald W.
The uses of modern technology present a challenge to constitutional rights. Computer technology is viewed as a serious threat to privacy, electronic bugging devices are available to everyone, and the United States government is the largest user of electronic surveillance. The fact that databases are pervasive is evidenced by the realization that the U.S. government has three billion personal computer files that are sources of potential exploitation. Is it possible for the 200-year-old U.S. Constitution to adapt to the new technology? Can courts and laws change rapidly enough to protect citizens from what is now technologically possible? A social studies lesson plan presents three issues for classroom use: (1) changes in technology are accompanied by changes in the social institutions; (2) technology makes possible new threats to basic freedoms; and (3) there is constant tension between what technology makes possible and what should be allowed when more than one basic freedom is threatened. Suggestions are provided for classroom activities that encourage discussion of the social implications of technological change. (NL)
Descriptors: Civil Liberties, Confidential Records, Constitutional History, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Ethics, Freedom of Information, Futures (of Society), Information Technology, Instructional Innovation, Laws, Learning Strategies, Questioning Techniques, Sciences, Secondary Education, Social Studies, Technology
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: United States Constitution