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09 November 2022

Code{;ish} Who are YOU Killing? Saving? Blaming?

Adrienne Tough profile image
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Adrienne Tough

Impact of Technology –

Who are YOU Killing? Saving? Blaming?

Did these questions hook you? These can be a great introduction to introduce the wider issues of technology and their impact. Students are keen to share their ideas and tend to love to argue. For once their yeah buts can be encouraged! And nothing quite incites their passion as giving them power to decide who lives and dies (my philosophy background is coming out here…).

Phillipa Foot proposed the famous trolley program (, questioning if you would sacrifice one person to save many. An interesting thought experiment that can be applied to several scenarios, including driverless cars.

There is a gripping Tedtalk on this exact scenario on YouTube (  I have found pausing the video and posing the questions is a great way to have the students thinking. A particularly engaging moment is questioning whether the car should swerve to hit a rider with or without a helmet – cue the shock when I tell students that it should be the rider without the helmet.

The video invites debate and so can really help the structure with these longer answered questions – pose an opinion, provide evidence, argue back. It has been a really great hook into the topic with some very strong arguments being proposed. You can adapt to all kind of scenarios to really delve into their reasoning and please the philosophy/RS teachers with the cross curricular link.

The scenario allows the class to consider the wider issues to a specific scenario and this initial engagement tends to lead to better focus as you then explore the theoretical aspects further. Debates can become lively so if oracy isn't a strength in your classroom I'd really recommend checking out voice 21 talking roles! This can be a game changer but really that's a blog for another time ....

Have you used this video before?

Or do you have any other successful case studies that you use?


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Status Change: Closed : 13/02/2023