What does real-time mapping with NYC school kids look like? On Saturday, Digital Democracy was invited to work with 120 young people from all 5 boroughs as part of the Department of Education’s “Future Now” program. Having gone through the system myself, I jumped at the chance to help them innovate. While technology access is growing, so is censorship, and I worry about the education we’re giving kids when the banned website list resembles the one in Tunisia. Access to engaging curriculum is also key. One of the girls I taught was named “Tunisia” and when I made a crack about her being named after a country, she didn’t know what I was talking about.
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Last week I got a chance to check out the ITP winter show 2009 and explore the state of innovation at the NYU’s program in a bit more detail. I was already familiar with some of the coolest projects from teaching at the Social Activism using Mobile Technology class. This semester seemed to be heavy on art & arduinos, which while interesting, wasn’t breaking down any walls as far as daily use around the world. Some projects really did hit me though:
This project started as the brainchild of the Pioneers, a group of “innovative thinkers at the frontier of active citizenship.” Brought together by the great people at Humanity in Action and Felix Meritas, and supported by the Dutch government as part of the NY400, 20 Amsterdam and 20 New York City “P!oneers” set out to tackle the issues facing our societies.
Back in May I had the pleasure of exploring The Future, also known as NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program Spring Show 2009. Last night I had the pleasure of actually molding it by guest lecturing Nathan Freitas’ Social Activism using Mobile Technology class at ITP with my colleague Emily Jacobi.
It was my pleasure to be invited speak with Humanity In Action‘s 2009 Summer Fellows. The organization does great work engaging student leaders in the study and work of human rights. I was there to talk to them about the Open My City project and get them excited enough about the idea to volunteer in support of it.
"The panel on Public Media, Open Content, and Sustainability was something I was particularly interested in, but not something that many answers came out of. There was a lot of talk about the evolution of public media over the years and the need to continue to change and innovate, but without any key models or ideas of how that's going to happen versus how they'd like to see that happen. Kevin Reynen of the Open Media Project brought this point out with a question he asked regarding Ken Burns' supposedly public footage and when that would become available. The answer continues to be "eventually". Eirik Solheim of NRK (Norway's Public Broadcaster) brought up a lot of the most interesting models where they embraced BitTorrent early on as an alternative distribution model and also utilize their constituents to do a lot of translating for them. Go Norway!"
As the film and television industries struggle to understand the economics of the current social media landscape from the top down, the grassroots continue to grow and innovate in the field. Last week’s Open Video Conference at New York University Law’s Vanderbilt Hall was an impressive showing of independent producers, academics, programmers, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, activists and others, interested in being part of the “growing movement for transparency, interoperability, and further decentralization in online video.”