For the past six months, most of my research energies have been focused on studying the first year's worth of open online courses created by HarvardX and MITx. I've worked with a fabulous group of colleagues from both institutions, and next week we plan to release a series of working papers detailing our findings. In particular, we've made a substantial effort to examine courses in their own context, and to consider carefully at what kind of learning experience the faculty in each course was trying to create. I'm hopeful that our work will add nuance to the conversation about open online learning.
As we make our way through the short 2014 winter term and start thinking ahead to spring, it seems like a good time to take stock of goings-on here at the Cyberlaw Clinic over the past twelve months.
2013 was, by many measures, our busiest year to date. More than fifty students enrolled in the Clinic during the winter and spring terms of the 2012-13 academic year and the fall term of 2013-14. Five interns supported the Clinic’s work during the summer months and participated in the Berkman Center’s summer internship program.
Over the past few months, the Youth and Media team has collaborated with Chicago-based organizations that encourage and support youth to be active, engaged, news-literate community members. The YaM team found fascinating trends in youth information behavior and identified new opportunities for learning. We challenged existing frameworks for news literacy and developed practical guidance for community-based practitioners. And now we’re excited to share the results with you!
As part of its ongoing Student Privacy Initiative, led by Executive Director Urs Gasser, the Berkman Center is excited to offer a number of related publications that synthesize diverse conversations, distill next steps and key issues, and provide initial substantive resources for technologists and school officials alike.
Another Internet crackdown appears to be looming in Russia, where the Duma is reviewing three new pieces of proposed “anti-terror” legislation that could place hefty restrictions on the activities of website operators and civil society organizers.
Two of the bills address government surveillance powers—one would create new requirements obliging website operators to report on the every move of their users, while another addresses penalties for terror-related crimes. The third would set new restrictions for individuals and organizations accepting anonymous donations through online services like PayPal, a measure that could have an especially strong impact on small civil society groups.