Berkman Buzz: October 17, 2014

October 17, 2014

The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the publications and posts of Berkman Center people and projects.
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Urs Gasser reflects on the 25th anniversary of the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child and calls for a larger role for children in the digital rights discourse

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This year, we celebrate the 25th anniversaries of two very different, but equally significant, events: the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United Nations General Assembly and the invention of the World Wide Web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

The Convention made an extraordinary promise to children by setting out their civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights, and millions of children around the world have since benefited. The release of the code for the Web to the public marked the inception of the Web as we know it, and today there are close to 3 billion users worldwide. While largely unrelated back in 1989, the Convention and the Web share important challenges and opportunities in 2014.

From his essay for UNICEF's CRC@25, "Taking children seriously: A call for the enhanced engagement of children in the digital rights discourse"
About Urs | @ugasser

Alison Head's newest video asks, so what is lifelong learning?

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Everyone believes in lifelong learning, but what does it mean? Tune in to Project Information Literacy's latest video (2:39 mins.) to find out what a sample of recent college graduates said about their own continued learning needs and practices. The narrative is excerpted from 63 interviews conducted last spring with recent graduates from 10 U.S. colleges and universities. All of PIL's research materials are open-access and their re-use and sharing is encouraged.

Watch Alison Head's latest video for Project Information Literacy (PIL), "What does Lifelong Learning mean to Recent Graduates?"
About Alison | About Project Information Literacy

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Help us make the public media that you deserve. Back Radiotopia on Kickstarter: @radiotopiafm #pubmedia
PRX (@prx)

Justin Reich considers the value of reading ebooks with your children


The key line from today's New York Times article on children, technology and language acquisition, "Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time", is this:

In other words, "it's being talked with, not being talked at," that teaches children language, Dr. Hirsh-Pasek said.

As a parent of two girls, four and one, I think about these issues of screens, books, and language every day.

The NYT article does a nice job of capturing what we currently know about language acquisition in very young children: interaction with adults is critical. Part of the value of reading is in the conversations that emerge naturally questions about words, pictures, and the connections to a child's every day life.

From his EdTech Researcher column on Education Week, "Books or Screens: Talk to Your Kids"
About Justin | @bjfr

Joseph Reagle explores the connection between social media and FOMO


In June of 2013, a Wikipedian created a two paragraph article for FOMO, the "Fear of Missing Out" (Fear of missing out, 2013). The first, short, paragraph described it as a form of social anxiety ("a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity") and linked it to social media. The second, similarly short, paragraph described a recently published research article by social psychologist Andrew Przybylski (2013) and his colleagues that hypothesized that some people may gravitate toward social media because of unfulfilled psychological needs. The researchers created a ten-item questionnaire that asked about comparisons with friends, being left out, missed experiences, and compulsion. They found that those who scored high on these items were typically young, male, and with higher levels of social media usage and lower levels of general mood and life satisfaction.

From his draft paper, "Following the Joneses: FOMO and Conspicuous Sociality (DRAFT)"
About Joseph | @jmreagle

Leora Kornfeld chronicles the evolution of the Pebble watch


In the early 2000s Eric Migicovsky was a kid with a vision. Not to change the world with wearable technologies -- that would come a few years later – but, instead, to unseat the monopoly of his high school cafeteria. Why should they be the only ones able to sell food to a thousand plus hungry teenagers, he thought? So he did what any young entrepreneurial spirit would do: he set up an unofficial cafeteria in his locker. There, between classes, he hawked items he’d bought at Costco. Better selection, more convenient location, and the kids got to deal with one of their friends as opposed to the hairnetted people in the caf. “And it was a cash only business”, remembers Migicovsky. Things were going so well that another student cottoned on to the scheme and started up a rival cafeteria in his locker. The unusual congregating around the two lockers in between classes eventually caught the attention of school administration and the market solution to limited food choices in the high school hallways was over.

From her blog post, "The evolution of the Pebble watch: From student project in Canada to beating Apple to market"
About Leora | @LK617

Building an Internet Fast Lane in Russia Could Be a Great Way to Stifle Independent Media

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The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) may soon allow Internet Service Providers to collect fees from websites willing to pay a premium for prioritized content delivery.

The popularity of websites and services content requiring high bandwidth, like YouTube and Skype, has led to a dramatic increase in the amount of data traveling through the Internet, FAS says. The increased load on Russia's telecommunication network necessitates new investment in the national infrastructure, but ISPs complain that they're short on funds.

From Sergey Kozlovsky's post on Global Voices, "Building an Internet Fast Lane in Russia Could Be a Great Way to Stifle Independent Media"
About Global Voices Online | @globalvoices

This Buzz was compiled by Gretchen Weber.

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Last updated

October 17, 2014