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"Trends that Change Everything in 21st Century Learning and Teaching" / "Defining Taxonomies" / "The World Earth Catalog Redux"

Yale ISP Fellow Stephen Wilmarth, Berkman Fellow Melanie Dulong de Rosnay, MIT CMS Student Colleen Kaman

“Five Socio-Technology Trends that Change Everything in 21st Century Learning and Teaching” - Stephen Wilmarth, Center for 21st Century Skills, Yale ISP Fellow


New digital technologies open the door on changes in learning and teaching that go much deeper than anything we’ve experienced in history. Converging technologies are augmented by new social patterns, creating a “virtuous cycle” of new knowledge creation. Until now, technology has made its impact on productivity in global commerce, as we’ve defined it by industrial age standards. So, e-mail, the World Wide Web and cell phones have made us more accessible, more mobile, and more productive in our daily lives. The problem is, our measurements of productivity continue to be grounded in industrial age standards and ideas. The case can be made that at the dawn of the 21st century, converging technologies and emerging social trends lay the groundwork for entirely new landscapes, in society, in commerce, in the very meaning of the work we do and the lives we lead, and ultimately in the what, where, why, and how we learn. Curriculum design has been the foundation of our pedagogy practice and professional teaching standards in a system that has changed only marginally since the start of the modern academy of the Renaissance period. But emerging socio-technology trends will have a broad and definitive impact on curriculum design going forward. Learning and teaching will be reshaped by the forces of social production, social networks, a semantic web, media grids, and a new paradigm of knowledge creation best stated as a metaphor with biological, organic, sustainable tenor. Let’s refer to the metaphor as “the new zoo” and debate how this metaphoric representation of knowledge creation forces a new look at how we should redesign learning experiences going forward.


Stephen Wilmarth is currently a Senior Program Specialist and Co-Founder of the Center for 21st Century Skills in Litchfield, Connecticut. The Center is an NSF-funded program with the purpose to design and operate innovative learning programs in K-14 classrooms and learning communities. The mission of the Center is to prepare learners for productive lives in a global 21st century society and economy. He received his B.A. in History from the University of Bridgeport, and has attended Suffolk Law School, Babson’s Olin Graduate School of Management, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to his experience as an educator, Wilmarth founded several high-tech, VC funded start-ups. He has been a guest lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and the London Business School, and is currently under contract with ASCD (an educational publishing house) to co-author a book on curriculum design with Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs of Columbia University’s Teachers College. He has been a friend of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School and the Internet Society Project at Yale Law School for the past several years.

“Defining Taxonomies for Access and Reuse of creative works and scientific data” - Melanie Dulong de Rosnay, Berkman Center Fellow


Rights expression languages provide legal metadata and relational elements to describe which actions can be performed on creative works and information. They can be part of digital rights management systems, or used by search engines to find works according to their availability status. Current legal metadata schemes express legal and contractual rules with standardized syntax (e.g. XML, RDF), but are not necessarily semantically interoperable. Compatibility may be achieved through the definition of a common denominator, e.g. jurisdiction-based definitions (European law harmonization and transposition, national versions of Creative Commons licenses), or community-based norms (citation, commercial use, appropriation or reuse). Definitions, licenses and protocols may evaluate freedom or openness and restrictions.

This research is currently being extended in collaboration with Science Commons in order to identify freedoms and restrictions for scientific databases. To this end, Science Commons has released a Protocol for Implementing Open Access Data, a set of “requirements for gaining and using the Science Commons Open Access Data Mark and metadata.”


Melanie Dulong de Rosnay is a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, where she leads research in copyright law and information science. In addition, she is designing a distance learning course on copyright for librarians in partnership with eIFL, working on open access science and open data policy with Science Commons, coordinating publications for Communia, the European thematic network on the digital public domain, and serving as legal project lead for Creative Commons in France.

Prior to joining the Berkman Center, Ms. Dulong de Rosnay participated to research projects on legal metadata and ontologies, rights expression languages, e-science and open access, Internet governance, and technical standardization (MPEG-21). She holds a doctorate in law from CERSA (the Administrative Science Studies Research Center from University Paris 2), where her dissertation was entitled “Legal and technological regulation of networked information and creative works.” She also holds degrees in political science and law from the Universities of Lyon, Leipzig, and Tilburg, and has taught copyright law at the University of Technology of Compiègne, France.

Colleen Kaman, Graduate Student in CMS

“The World Earth Catalog Redux: Environmentalism in the Age of Global Climate Change”


The threat of climate change has generated increasing interest in curbing energy use. Many of the well-publicized efforts have included corporate strategies to ‘go green’ and become more environmentally friendly as well as cap and trade systems and laws that seek to curb carbon emissions. Some argue that these current responses do not adequately address the fundamental need to change how we produce and consume energy. Moreover, while U.S. environmental movement has generated a public response to this threat, the reaction has not been widespread and sustained enough to substantial impact the problem. Critics note that without tackling the large issue of energy use, we will fail to attain the eighty percent cut in carbon emissions by 2050 needed to avoid the most drastic impacts of climate change. This paper examines the threat of climate change not as a scientific problem, but as a social and cultural one. More than seventy percent of Americans consider themselves to be active in, or sympathetic to, the environmental movement, although only about ten percent have actually made an effort to substantially curb their so-called carbon footprint. At the same time, an increasing number of Americans feel that the movement is doing more harm than good. This paper traces the current tension in and relative ineffectiveness of the environmental movement to changing relationships between citizenship, media, politics, and consumer culture. Environmentalism is a complex issue, simultaneously existing as a political movement and an economic, social, and even counter-cultural construct. Competing notions of citizenship classify the problem of climate change differently and hence propose very different solutions to curbing it. How might the specific criticisms of the environmental movement reveal these deeper tensions? How might we understand the role of the individual across competing models of citizenship? And finally, how do various models of citizenship impact media choice and the message created? This research will explore several case studies to reveal how these shifting boundaries are creating new opportunities for a citizen-led environmentalism that transcends the bounds traditionally set by the environmental establishment.


Colleen Kaman is in the Comparative Media Studies program at MIT, where she is analyzing the intersection of new media on notions of democracy and vernacular culture. She is a researcher with the Center for Future Civic Media, a CMS-Media Lab initiative. Her research focuses on notions of public space, mobility, identity, and narrative across media. She currently is developing a mobile air pollution-monitoring device that functions as a digital pet and social networking tool as well as a community-driven participatory radio site. Prior to coming to MIT, Ms. Kaman worked almost ten years as a documentary producer/director and broadcast journalist where she examined issues involving electoral politics, environment, health, education, and the judicial system. She earned her B.A. in Anthropology from Bates College in 1995.

Past Event
Feb 19, 2008
6:00 PM - 6:00 PM