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Berkman Buzz: July 6, 2012

The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects.
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Technology can't improve schools all on its own

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When it comes to using educational technology in the classroom, it seems like every school is doing it, has done it already, or has plans to do it in the near future. Without a doubt, technology in the classroom, whether an iPad, laptop, or online simulation, has the potential to transform education for many students, and, in many cases, is already making great strides. But with the advent of the technology craze upon us, it is important for educators and administrators not to let their excitement for its potential carry them away; technology can be integrated into an educational program, but is not a standalone silver bullet for improving outcomes.


From Justin Reich and Ryan Normandin blog post on Education Week, "Technology Is Not a Silver Bullet"
About Justin Reich | @bjfr
About Ryan Normandin | @RyanNormandin

Ethiopia tightens internet control measures

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The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is the latest group to voice concerns over Ethiopia’s increasingly draconian Internet control, even as the government justifies these measures as a safeguard against telecom fraud.

On Monday, CPJ outlined its concern about new sophisticated censorship methods employed in Ethiopia, which the group said may encourage other authoritarian regimes in Africa. According to the Associated Press, the CPJ statement says that “‘the rollout of a far more pervasive and sophisticated blocking system’” started in April to include smaller blogs by exiles and news services, and even individual Facebook pages.”


From Malavika Jagannathan's blog post for Herdict, "Ethiopian Internet control measures continue to garner concern"
About Herdict | @herdict

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#UN Human Rights Council endorses net freedom of expression #FOE #netfreedom
Herdict (@Herdict)


Netizen Report: Netizens innovate to promote political and social change

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Most of this report was researched, written and edited by Weiping Li, James Losey, Tom Risen and Sarah Myers.

The past few weeks have seen promising developments in the use of online journalism to counter official narratives in countries under political upheaval.

The Network for Iraqi Reporters for Investigative Journalism launched in mid-June, becoming the first investigative journalism website in Iraq devoted to stories of “corruption, mismanagement of funds and power across Iraq.” Its articles will be published in Arabic, English and Kurdish. Syrian video activists have also launched an effort to create an online alternative to state-run media. Rami Jarrah, founder of the Activists News Association, hopes the network will transform the activists, who have been using video cameras to document the uprising, into citizen journalists whose work could eventually supplant that of the state media should Syrian President Bashar al-Assad be forced from power.


From Rebecca MacKinnon's blog post, "Netizen Report: Journalism Edition"
About Global Voices Online | @globalvoices
About Rebecca MacKinnon | @rmack
About Weiping Li | @weipingli
About James Losey | @jameslosey
About Tom Risen | @TomRisen
About Sarah Myers | @sarahbmyers

Derek Bambauer dissects the Commerce Clause in NFIB v. Sebelius

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NFIB v. Sebelius, the 2012 Supreme Court decision rejecting nearly all of the constitutional challenges to the Affordable Care Act, has (at least) two bits of interest to infolaw folks. First, the majority opinion finds that the ACA‘s individual mandate cannot be sustained under the Commerce Clause. Congress regulates all manner of infolaw issues under the Commerce Clause, perhaps most notably trademarks. Second, the Court strikes down the Medicaid expansion provision, finding essentially that it is an unconstitutional condition on Congress’s spending largesse. This is fascinating for those of us interested in how Congress uses its spending powers to shape speech. I’m going to tackle what I see as a puzzle in the majority’s Commerce Clause analysis, with the usual disclaimer: I’m not expert in the structural aspects of the Constitution.


From Derek Bambauer's post, "Parsing the Commerce Clause"
About Derek Bambauer | @dbambauer

Global network organizations support Declaration of Internet Freedom

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Over the past year, in the US, Italy and other countries, Internet communities have flexed their muscles and demonstrated their popularity and capacity for organizing public opinion, by convincing lawmakers not to pass bills that would have made life difficult for ‘Net service providers and site owners.

Recently, two US Congressmen who were important opponents of SOPA in the House and Senate, Darrell Issa and Ron Wyden, called for and then published a draft Digital Citizen’s Bill of Rights, which they opened for public annotation and comment. (Kudos for the concept and quick turnaround – that’s a more direct engagement of readers than any other political effort I’ve seen recently. But I hope they keep developing the platform, or move it to something more refactorable.)



From Samuel Klein's post, "Sudo Make Me an Internet"
About Samuel Klein | @metasj

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Must-read: @derekslater on measuring digital creativity in INSEAD/WIPO Global Innovation Index 2012 @berkmancenter
Urs Gasser (@ugasser)


Voters express sentiments on Twitter during elections

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Following the end of the presidential candidates' campaigns, election day was held last Sunday 1 July 2012, from which the next President of the United Mexican States would emerge victorious. Mexicans also elected 128 senators and 500 members of parliament. Citizens went to the polls to vote without restrictions or major incidents.

At the time of writing this post, according to official, albeit preliminary, information released by Mexico's electoral monitoring organisation, the Instituto Federal Electoral (IFE), turnout was at 63.14% with 90.82% of the votes counted. Preliminary counts seemed to favour the candidate Enrique Peña Nieto [en], from the political party coalition known as Compromiso por México (”Compromise for Mexico”), with 37.83 of the electoral vote..


From J. Tadeo and Ayoola Ayabi's blog post,
About Global Voices Online | @globalvoices
About J. Tadeo
About Ayoola Alabi

This Buzz was compiled by Royze Adolfo.

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