Berkman Buzz: February 22, 2013

February 22, 2013

The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects.
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Diana Kimball mentors aspiring developers at Dev Bootcamp

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I was supposed to spend yesterday in an airplane, hurtling from San Francisco back to Boston. Instead, I ended up in a fifteenth-floor conference room in Chicago with 30 aspiring web developers, getting them excited about coding.

What? How? Rewind.

From Diana Kimball's blog post, "A Day of Dev Bootcamp"
About Diana | @dianakimball

Dan Gillmor ponders the future of books in the digital age

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Among my many other activities these days, I'm working on a new book … or something like that.

That qualification reflects the uncertainty of the times. As volumes printed on paper evolve to newer media – at some point, a printed volume seems likely to become a luxury item – we're obliged to think about what constitutes a book in the digital age. I used to think I knew the answer, but I'm no longer remotely sure. Two recent events have not cleared things up. After listening to smart and well-informed speakers at a "Future of Publishing" panel in California late last year, as well as at last week's "O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing" conference in New York City, I found myself, if anything, less certain.

From Dan Gillmor's post for The Guardian, "What's next for books in the digital age? Outlook unclear"
About Dan | @dangillmor

Quotation mark - like The Onion, only all the news actually happened. A wonderful hack from the fine folks at @civicMIT
Ethan Zuckerman (@ethanz)

David Weinberger reflects on sexism in tech

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Sarah Parmenter has posted about just how ugly it gets for women in tech. She recounts a horrifying story about how as a speaker at a tech conference she was methodically assaulted online. I want to believe that this was a rare and random act, but apparently it happens more than we know because it’s not something generally the victims want to get yet more publicity about.

Thanks to the rise of feminism, the change in behavioral norms over the past 50 years has eliminated many of the superficial, public expressions of misogyny. Not all, of course, but in the circles that I’ve moved in, the change has been noticeable. There are many fewer casual male expressions of discomfort around women, many fewer belittling or sexually objectifying comments. That’s good, but it doesn’t tell us if private expressions have changed, and, more important, how thoroughly the disempowering assumptions and structures are being undone. (And, yes, I know that I must certainly be blind to my own pernicious assumptions.)

From David Weinberger's blog post, "What’s not ok even with the door closed"
About David | @dweinberger

Justin Reich shares student debate over iPads in the classroom

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This is the time of year where I have the great pleasure of teaching an education class to undergraduates at MIT. We address two questions during the semester: "What's worth learning?" and "How do we know that students are learning what's worth learning?"

Most weeks, we have an online discussion about current events in education. This week, students chose to examine an article on a school district that just committed to a district-wide 1-1 iPad program. Their responses are characteristically thoughtful, and here are a few of their perspectives.

From Justin Reich's post for EdTech Researcher, "MIT Students Debate the Value of iPads in the Classroom"
About Justin | @bjfr

Ethan Zuckerman investigates the Harlem Shake meme

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When we’re not doing more serious work like documenting geographic and gender biases in media, or helping provide information to domestic workers about their rights, we at the Center for Civic Media like to talk memes. The other morning, over breakfast, we were considering what makes a dance video parodies a highly participatory and cross-cultural type of meme, i.e., one where many people from different backgrounds and nations choose to remix it.

From Ethan Zuckerman's blog post, "Corporate America and the Harlem Shake: Perfect Together"
About Ethan | @ethanz

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Did you know that the Digital Activism Project has an annotated biblio on digi.activism on their site? Super helpful!
Molly Sauter (@oddletters)

“Ask Angy” Humanizes the Experience of Undocumented Immigrants

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“Isn't it kind of ironic that we're undocumented, but you have to prove that you're undocumented with all these documents?,” Angy Rivera concludes in one of her videos. Angy is a college student born in Colombia and raised in New York City who shares her story of immigration with the world in hopes of humanizing this complex discussion.

A few years ago, Angy publicly announced that “she was not afraid to be undocumented,” and since then she has been writing a column in English called Ask Angy in which she responds to endless questions, doubts and comments that she receives on a regular basis.

From Yarisa Colon's blog post for Global Voices, "“Ask Angy” Humanizes the Experience of Undocumented Immigrants"
About Global Voices Online | @globalvoices

This Buzz was compiled by Rebekah Heacock.

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Last updated

February 22, 2013