John Palfrey and Urs Gassser explore some of the myths surrounding how young people use new technologies. Does it make sense to talk about a distinctive global culture of young people -- Digital Natives -- who have only known life in a digital age?
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School is proud to celebrate its tenth year as a research program founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development. Running through the 2007-2008 academic year, the celebration includes an event and distinguished speaker series; major releases of books by Berkman projects and people; a culminating conference - "The Future of the Internet" - on May 15-16, 2008; and a gala on May 16.
Through research, events, and discussion, Berkman@10 considers “The Future of the Internet” - to celebrate the work we have done together over the past decade, and to look ahead to what we hope to accomplish collectively in the next.
The Berkman Center was founded at a time when the future of cyberspace seemed to be both boundless and overwhelmingly positive. Our belief was, and is, that there are values embedded in the openness of the Internet.
At the same time, we understand that new configurations give rise to new problems. The reaction of societies to these problems will determine how much of technology's potential can be realized. Mapping the open and the proprietary in cyberspace and modeling its special virtues, while being sober about its dangers, are at the heart of our shared inquiry.
Our primary activities are teaching and learning, as is true of any traditional university-based research center. But we also seek to elaborate upon that tradition using the technologies that we study. We have committed to build out into cyberspace as we study it. We have developed code that supports teaching, learning, and self-expression and have participated in erecting new kinds of institutions that seek -with mixed results - to lend order to a space that appears at first glance to be ungovernable.
The promise of cyberspace is just as great as it was ten years ago, if not greater. Some of the challenges we face in studying it, and in building out into it, have changed; others persist. The more we learn, from one another and from our colleagues who study and build this space, the more our excitement for our work grows.