Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Seniors' Last Day!

Congratulations to the Liberty North class of 2016! You've made it! However, this is just one phase of your life, and you are about to embark on the next step of your life. For some of you, that will be continued education in college, others may be serving in the military, while some of you may be entering the workforce. Whatever your future holds, I have several articles/words of wisdom for you to read and reflect upon. For the few juniors here today, you are also invited to read and reflect as this information may apply to you as well.

Advice for High School Graduates

"You're Not Special"

Once you have read the above articles, please fill out this reflection.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Final Project

Contemporary Issues
Final Project
Topic Research & Resource Collection

Your final project is to select a topic of interest that we did not have a chance to cover this semester and gather resources (web links, videos, articles, etc) that provide an overview of the topic and at least five subtopics. You will also create a presentation (10 minutes) that explains the various aspects of your topic (think of it as a teaser or a pitch on why this unit should be included next time). You will complete this task in groups of 2-4 individuals. Presentations will start this Thursday and continue on Friday and Monday. All other material is also due at that time. Your final collection of resources, with links and annotations, will be on a Google Spreadsheet. Please use this link and make a copy with the title of your topic and the names of the members of the group.

Monday: Topic (must be approved by instructor) selection, sign-up for presentation time-slot
Tuesday: Research, read and annotate
Wednesday: Research, read and annotate, work on presentation
Thurs, Friday, Monday: Presentations

______1. Selection and approval of topic/subtopics. Your topic should include 3-5 subtopics.

______2. Collection of resources (25pts)
Must have a minimum of the following:
Twenty articles/ websites dealing with the topic/subtopics
Five videos (at least one less than 5 minutes and one more than 5 minutes)
All of the above must be hyperlinked on the Google Spreadsheet

______3. Annotation of each of the resources (50pts)
For each resource chosen above, write a one-paragraph summary of the resource and explain how it can be used to learn more about the topic. This will also be completed on the Google Spreadsheet.

______4. Presentation of your topic (25pts)

Using Google Presentation, create a slideshow that demonstrates the overall unit and topics/issues that could be covered. For example, our unit on college athletes and pay included payment for play, compensation for video game likeness, and player unionization. Your presentation should be a minimum of ten slides, may include a video, and be approximately 10 minutes long.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday Forum: The Supreme Court & Same-Sex Marriage

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on deciding whether or not states must recognize and/or issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples. The Court's decision should be released by the end of June and many experts expect a landmark ruling.

Let's begin with a video that shows the growth of marriage equality in the United States over the last two decades. As you are watching, look for two trends.

Here's the Washington Post's preview of the case, Obergefell v. Hodges.

And, here are a few of the Justices and their arguments/questions from Tuesday.

Vox's coverage of same-sex marriage and the Obergefell v. Hodges case

Washington Post's coverage of the oral arguments

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Robo Phobia?

Should we be concerned about a world with more and more advanced robots taking on human tasks?  Will people become too attached to their robots? Will artificial intelligence someday make robots independent of humans? What kind of laws are needed to regulate the use of robots?

 Do We Need Asimov's Laws?

Isaac Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics"

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Morals and the Machine

Death by Robot

Will Artificial Intelligence Destroy Humanity? Here are 5 Reasons Not to Worry

UN Considers Ethics of "Killer Robots"

The Big Robot Questions

Are there ethical issues of entrusting the care of your elderly parents to robots? Or will personal robots help the elderly live longer and more independently?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Should Missouri Allow Driverless Cars?

Scenario: There are currently only a few states that allow driverless or autonomous cars on public roads. The Missouri Legislature is considering changing the law to allow these vehicles on Missouri roads. As a member of the General Assembly Transportation Committee, you will have to decide whether to support this bill.

Please conduct more research on the benefits and concerns of these new vehicles, using the links below or other articles that you find. After reading about the pros/cons of driverless cars, write a one-page brief that outlines your position. It should be formatted as follows:

Position: A clear position either for or against allowing driverless cars on Missouri roads

Point One: A succinct sentence (bolded) followed by a paragraph (non-bolded) explaining that point

Point Two: A succinct sentence (bolded) followed by a paragraph (non-bolded) explaining that point

Point Three: A succinct sentence (bolded) followed by a paragraph (non-bolded)  explaining that point

Summary: Not really a summary, but three questions you have for the other side of the argument.

Tomorrow, we will simulate a General Assembly Committee Hearing. Each of you will have an opportunity to discuss your views on this proposal, including asking questions of other members.

Who's Afraid of Driverless Cars?

States Take the Wheel on Driverless Cars

Ban Driverless Cars? The NHSTA Says Yes

Look, no hands

Driverless Cars for the Road Ahead

Google Results for State Legislature Driverless Cars