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Identity, Privacy & Safety

Digital Natives are living a life online – from chats on AIM to comments on MySpace to vlogs on YouTube – they are presenting themselves, interacting with others, and publishing their thoughts, desires, and experiences on the internet for others to see. They are often experimenting with identity, sometimes bullying others, and usually strengthening, maintaining, and making connections. As children grow older, their digital dossier (all the information collected about us as we move about the internet) and digital tattoo (all the photos, videos, blog posts, and comments published online) will keep growing, and largely remain permanent.

In this theme of inquiry, we seek to explore the implications of digital life for issues of identity, privacy and safety.

Creativity, Piracy & Intellectual Property

Digital Natives have grown up in the digital world, categorized by lowered barriers to creativity, sharing and civic engagement. Young people pull, share, appropriate, and reconstruct resources they find as they navigate the digital environment, using and transforming this content for purposes of expression, creativity and commerce. The ease of duplication and transmission of information in the digital realm raises important questions about changing attitudes and understandings of ownership and theft. In this theme of inquiry, we seek to explore the implications of the culture of sharing and new forms of creativity for law and education. The future balance of expression and property issues is and will continue to be an important discussion in law and education in the years ahead.

Information Overload, Information Quality & Learning

Digital Natives discover and learn from the start of their lives in a radically different information environment than the one in which their parents and teachers grew up. Low barriers to participation in the internet information flow may strengthen the public sphere, but it also means digital natives learn amidst information overload while navigating a host of information quality issues. In this theme of inquiry, we seek to explore the implications of a changed information environment for learning and understand how education must be transformed to best prepare digital natives for the future.


Born Digital by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser, forthcoming from Basic Books in July 2008


An Educator's Guide to Wikipedia (danah boyd)


eLangdell : The Legal Ed Commons (Gene Koo)

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