Internet & Society

Addressing Trust Challenges in Connected Learning

Monday, September 01, 2014 Comment tiger licking top of mans head representing trust

Any learning is inherently risky. The second we enter spaces to learn stuff, we are acknowledging that there are things we don’t know and that we trust the environment, place and people we are learning with and from to help us fill in those knowledge holes. By entering learning spaces, we are agreeing to form a community around the knowledge attained. We go through this process socially, even if only in a time-constrained environment like a museum. We do all of this without questioning the risk because we’ve come to some sort of social contract that

Philadelphia: A Case Study on the Importance of Internet Access in Public Spaces

Friday, May 03, 2013 Comment vernell and kanisha working at classroom computer together

We live in a world today where broadband access is becoming increasingly necessary for attaining jobs, expanding innovation and remaining globally competitive. Even in an iconic city like Philadelphia many residents are struggling to gain basic access to technology. Based on findings from a 2011 poll from the Pew Internet and American Life Project and Knight Foundation, 41 percent of Philadelphia households lack access to the Internet. Some experts have argued that this number could be as high as 55 percent. According to a report released last year by IBM and the city of Philadelphia, it

Remembering Aaron Swartz, Taking Up the Fight

Thursday, January 24, 2013 Comment man standing on stage speaking to protesters with signs at save the internet rally

I encountered the Aaron Swartz memorial the other day that helps ‘liberate’ a randomly selected article from JSTOR, as an act of civil disobedience, to commemorate both the legacy that Swartz leaves behind, but also the high-profile witch-hunt case which was a crucial factor in him taking his own life. Much has been said about Swartz and much more will have to be said about him, and about his work, to make sure that the good that men do does not get interred with their bones. And there are people more articulate, closer to him in

An Apologia for Copying

Thursday, September 13, 2012 Comment groups of students working at laptops in library

I was on a Google hangout with some friends the other day, and we were talking about the thisness and thatness of life. Conversations (as they always do) veered towards books we were reading and that started a torrent of recommendations and links, of books one should read, books one should absolutely read, and books that one should read or might as well just give up. The books were from different parts of the world. They were in different languages. If I had not been in this conversation with a bunch of people who are not

‘The Virtual Revolution’: Argentina

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 Comment group of people watching computer slideshow in conference room

I recently returned to the UK from a trip to Argentina. I had been invited to speak about The Virtual Revolution, the television series I presented for BBC2 2010 by the OSDE Foundation, the community arm of the country’s largest health care provider. While there, I had the opportunity to learn a bit more about the country and what is motivating their technology industry. Like many around the world, the Argentinian government wants to increase their blanket of access. They currently boast a not insubstantial 54% internet access rate — an impressive figure given the size

Understanding Digital Civics

Monday, September 03, 2012 Comment group of students working on their laptops individually

Last week, I gave a lecture titled “The Emergence of Digital Civics” at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. I was in South Australia to give another lecture, a joint lecture with Dr. Genevieve Bell of Intel in memory of her friend James Tizard. I hope to write up the talks Genevieve and I gave, but since I had detailed notes for my civics lecture, I’ve worked them into a blog post. In Kansas City, a young man named Jase Wilson is trying to build a trolley system. Kansas City applied to the US department of transportation

What Tech Wants: A People Agenda

Thursday, March 22, 2012 Comment large group of people waving hands in the air

I loved Kevin Kelly’s book, and especially loved the message I heard from it. What I heard was that tech wants us to become more humane, not less. What I heard, was that tech wants us to get to know ourselves, each other, and the world around us, even better than we ever imagined, for good. This, to me, is about communication. It’s about changing up the conversations we have. It’s about spreading and sharing good ideas. It’s about intimate coffee house conversations on local-global as well as a global-global scales. It’s about exposing tacit knowledge.

Reflexivity: Why We Must Choose to Shape, and Not Be Shaped By, Technology

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 Comment women sitting in the dark working on laptop

In her new book, Consent of the Networked, Rebecca Mackinnon offers a reality check: “We have a problem,” she writes. “We understand how power works in the physical world, but we do not yet have a clear understanding of how power works in the digital realm.” In fact, we probably don’t even think about power when we update our statuses on Twitter, connect with old school friends and upload pictures on Facebook, buy a book based on a recommendation from Amazon or use Mail, Docs, Plus, Maps or search on Google. Software — from computer games