Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Civic media courses for Spring 2012!

One feature of the Center that we love to, well, feature is our completely unique set of courses. This semester we have three of them -- two taught by professor and Center co-principal investigator Sasha Costanza-Chock and the other, in his MIT class debut, by our director Ethan Zuckerman. Registration is still open:

CMS.362 Civic Media Collaborative Design Studio
S. Costanza-Chock
Project-based studio focusing on collaborative design of civic media provides a service-learning opportunity for students interested in working with community organizations. Multidisciplinary teams create civic media projects based on real-world community needs. Covers co-design methods and best practices to include the user community in iterative stages of project ideation, design, implementation, testing, and evaluation. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 16.

Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom

Do we need a Magna Carta for the Internet? Who should create it, and what might it contain?

Rebecca McKinnon spoke at the Center for Civic Media today about her new book, Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom (TED Talk). For many years, Rebecca was the face of CNN in Beijing and Tokyo. Then she co-founded Global Voices with our director Ethan Zuckerman. More recently, she has been thinking about what it means to be a netizen, and what might be our responsibilities and rights.

Freed From Pop-Up Ads, Can the Boston Globe Succeed Online?

Today's Civic lunch featured the digital team from the Boston Globe, led by Jeff Moriarty, VP of Digital Products. He was joined by Chris Marstall, Marck Chang, and Grace Woo. They've just launched a new standalone site for the Globe, spinning off from the Boston.com portal and its ubiquitous popup ads. It's not a redesign -- they got to design a newspaper site from scratch in the year 2011, and the benefits of having a blank slate are evident in their award-winning design (here's more background on that design from some of its designers).

Globe Banner

Designing for Remix: Andres Monroy-Hernandez at the Berkman Center

Todays Berkman Lunch was on "Designing for Remix: Computer-supported Social Creativity" by Andres Monroy-Hernandez. Andres, who is a PhD candidate at the Media Lab, designed the Scratch community online and now splits his time between the Berkman Center and Microsoft Research. Since I recently helped start a creative writing centre in London, I was very keen to see how Andres worked to build community among creative learners online.

I first learned Scratch during a class on creative learning with Mitch Resnick, Sherry Turkle, and Karen Brennan. I also conducted a short ethnography on what happens on Scratch when learners get stuck. One possible strategy for getting unstuck involves looking at and modifying others' projects from the Scratch website. So I was excited to learn more from Andres about the values and practices of the Scratch community, as well as the design principles which support them.

The Front Line of the US Censorship Battle is Behind Bars

In our ongoing quest to trace the outline of the phrase "civic media," we began the Center for Civic Media's 2012 lunch series with Paul Wright, Editor and Cofounder of Prison Legal News, and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center, the non-profit umbrella which publishes PLN.

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