March 15, 2012
Dear Student and Parents,
The ITE English 5/6 class is going to be beginning a unit on ethics in the technical industry. Students will be researching
one of several contemporary issues related to the modern informational technology/engineering world. This will be a
significant portion of their fourth quarter grade.
They will also be reading a novel that deals with some interesting issues in the global gaming industry: For the Win by
Cory Doctorow. Written in 2008 for teen audiences, it is a gritty, highly entertaining, realistic read about several
different teenagers – in several different countries – whose passion for video games leads them down unexpected
paths. In reading it, we will encounter some complex questions about global economics, organized labor, virtual
commerce, social iniquity, and the social impacts of entertainment. I selected this book because of its educational value
as well as its entertainment value; it illuminated things for me that would have been extraordinarily helpful for my
senior Economics experience and for my knowledge of “the way the world works” as an adult.
And on top of that, it is a rollicking adventure – always a nice change of pace this time of year!
I am sending home this letter because, for all of the value that I feel For the Win has, it is also a book with some clear
political bias. This is typical in literature, but in contemporary books it is often much more obvious (as opposed to
allegorical) than it is in older texts. It is my intent to counterbalance this bias through rich class discussion and
supplemental texts in which opposing political views are acknowledged and shared. Additionally, most or all of the
reading for this book will be done at home. I am doing this in order to protect time for the research project, but also so
that parents can, if desired, read with their students and address some of the issues together from the perspective of
your own background knowledge and beliefs.
I very much hope that all of our ITE students will read this thought-provoking novel together. However, there is an
alternate assignment available if necessary. My general English 5/6 class is doing an American Author Research Project,
in which they choose and research an author from a pre-approved list, reading a major work by that author and doing a
significant presentation on that author and his/her work. Students who choose this option will be doing a considerable
amount of independent work and will be have the same due date (the week of April 23).
This signed letter is worth 20 points and serves as your acknowledgement of this project, as well as your opportunity to
opt out of reading For the Win. It needs to be returned to me next week (March 20 or at conferences); if I do not receive
this letter, 0 out of 20 points will be awarded and I will presume that you have chosen to read For the Win. It is CRITICAL
that I know BEFORE SPRING BREAK if you intend to do the American Author Research project – you will not have time to
complete it if you wait until after break to begin.
Student’s Name Class Period
I will be reading For the Win and doing the research project on technology and ethics.
I will be doing the American Author Research project instead.