Insights on Cyberbullying: an interview with a digital native

In this week’s audio podcast, our Reporters-in-the-Field asked 19 year old UMASS student and New Jersey native, Lisa Epstein, to share her thoughts on the world of cyberbullying. In this interview, Epstein provides insight on how the anonymity of cyberbullies makes one question who her real friends are, and how the Internet acts as a “big shield” in such situations.

Listen here:
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Internet Draws Masses for ‘Silent Dance’ Experiment

In this week’s video, Diane Kimball and Sarah Zhang take us into the world of the “silent dance experiment” – a silent, synchronized dance party which, with the help of the Internet, drew throngs of people from all over Boston, the US, and the world to Faneuil Hall in Boston in February.

Such “flash mob” happenings have picked up in popularity over the last few years thanks to the publicity they have gained through blogs, online event pages, and most especially Facebook. Of the event in Boston, one site wrote, this “silent dance party involves a large group of people assembling at a given area on a pre-decided time. They mill around inconspicuously, and at the signal (in this case, an airhorn), insert their headphones into their ears, hit play on their portable music player and start dancing as passersbys confusingly look on as a swarm of people dance in silence.”

You can check out this hilarious, spontaneous production below:

Enjoyed this video? Look out for more Reporters-in-the-Field productions every week.

azn.play: a conversation with blogger Qin Zhi Lau

Rest your eyes — we’re going audio-only this week. Digital Natives reporter Nikki Leon chatted online with Qin Zhi Lau, a second-year Princeton student who runs the blog aznplay.com in his spare time. Although the blog started as a side project for QZ (as he’s sometimes called), it’s become a small-scale hub for English-speaking fans of Asian music. In this interview, QZ gives insight into what it’s like to manage an online community and how being a digital native has shaped his view of the world.

Listen here:
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Come back each Wednesday for more multimedia on Digital Natives issues!

Mideast Youth: Providing platforms for public voice

This week’s “Digital Natives Reporters in the Field” series turns the microphone over to Esra’a Al Shafei of Bahrain, the 21-year-old director of student-owned MideastYouth.com

The mission of MideastYouth is “to inspire and provide young people with the freedom and opportunity of expression, and facilitate a fierce but respectful dialogue among the highly diverse youth of all sects, socio-economic backgrounds, and political and religious beliefs in the Middle East.” MideastYouth.com fights for social change with podcasts, blogs, social networks, and online video.

In this podcast, Esra’a talks about the ability of the internet to empower minorities with a voice, the mission of MideastYouth.com, and the change it has sparked in the world.

Listen to the podcast

And learn more about Esra’a, winner of Berkman Award for Internet Innovation, who when not “kicking butt” directing the ever impressive MideastYouth platform, “enjoys drinking flavored milk and writing about herself in 3rd person to remind herself of her existence.”

Digital Natives Forum Today! & Obama Works: Online Activism Breeds Local Change

Today we’re hosting the third installment of the Digital Natives Forum Series: Youth & Civic Engagement. We’ll be discussing the question “How can digital media tools enable youths to motivate one another to create meaningful change?” with a number of fantastic presenters approaching the issues from different vantage points. Come join us in Cambridge, or check out the webcast, and join us in the IRC or on Twitter!

Along with Dr. Sunshine Hillygus, Keli Goff, Nasser Wedaddy, and Judith Perry, Paul Selker, Director of Outreach and Communications at Obama Works, will be discussing ObamaWorks with us today. Earlier, summer intern Nikki Leon talked to Paul on camera about how online interaction can breed offline activism.

Obama Works is an independent grassroots organization that helps Obama supporters in neighborhoods across the country to organize community service events. The group was founded in early 2008 by a group of Yale students who were inspired by Barack Obama and felt that the energy surrounding his campaign could be channeled to do more than generate votes.

In this video, Paul Selker (a recent Yale grad and one of the group’s earliest members) discusses how the organization came together, how they use the web, and what role the internet has played in enabling people of all ages as activists. Produced by Nikki Leon, with camera work by Kanupriya Tewari, and audio engineering by John Randall.

For more on Digital Natives issues, come back next week for new multimedia, and check out recently released Born Digital, and the reactions.

Studying Online (Part II)

Last week we introduced you to David Kosslyn, who is starting up a website, StudyBuddy, in the hopes of bringing together digital natives online to study together. There David talked about his hopes and aims regarding the project.

In this week’s video, produced by Kanupriya Tewari, we are going to look at the implications of StudyBuddy; from cyber-bullying to the loss of face-to-face interaction.

Watch part one here.


Come back next Wednesday for more multimedia on online privacy, cyber bullying, digital activism and more!

And check out freshly released Born Digital!

Are you a Digital Native? NHK General TV wants to know.

A few weeks ago, NHK general TV in Japan stopped by the Berkman Center interview our principal investigator John Palfrey about Digital Natives, and caught some footage of the Digital Natives “Reporters in the Field” team in action.

They’re airing a special on Digital Natives in September as part of the program, they’ll be including video blogs made by digital natives about the Internet. Are you a Digital Native? Take an NHK’s digital native quiz to find out.

Digital Natives Quiz

David Kosslyn: Studying Online (Part I)

So far we’ve explored many areas of a digital native’s life – from privacy, piracy to digital information overload- but now we bring you the more positive efforts that Digital Natives are making. It seems that everything is accessible online in today’s world- then why not studying?

We sat down with David Kosslyn, a rising sophomore at Harvard, who along with two other friends, is starting up an online academic networking site named StudyBuddy. We talked to him about issues that this may bring about for non-digital natives but also about how studying online can either aid or hinder a digital natives learning process.

The following video, produced by Kanupriya Tewari, is part one where we explore the aims and accomplishments StudyBuddy hopes to acheive.


Come back next week to watch part two of David’s story!

Digital Shadows

This week we’re taking a break from all the interviews to give you a glimpse of the world of Digital Dossiers. Your dossier is made up of all the digital tracks you leave behind – from your photos on Flickr, to the Facebook messages you send, to all the data your credit card company collects about your transactions. On a daily basis, digital natives are consistently leaving information about themselves in secure or non-secure databases. You probably do this without a second thought in you day-to-day life – but have you ever considered the amount of information being collected about you, or the extent to which this information spreads?

In this video, created by Kanupriya Tewari, we explore this issue from the perspective of a child born today – Andy – and the timeline of all the digital files he accumulates in a life span.

Digital Dossier
Click here to view the video.

Or you can watch it here

To learn more about the topic check out:
- The Digital Natives website and Wiki
- Born Digital

Come back every Wednesday for more multimedia on online privacy, cyber bullying, digital activism and more!

The Ballad of Zack McCune, Part 3

If you need a refresher, watch Part I and Part II.

In April of last year, Zack McCune was sued by the RIAA. He ended up $3,000 lighter (he settled), but with a much richer understanding of the contemporary debate surrounding music, copyright law, and file sharing. Part I gives an intro to his story, while Part II explores the disconnect between young downloaders and the recording industry. Part III, presented here, concludes Zack’s misadventure and examines where it led him: to the Free Culture Movement, which advocates more flexible intellectual property law.

This video was produced by Nikki Leon and John Randall. You can watch a high-resolution version here.

If you’d like to learn more about illegal downloading or the Free Culture Movement, check out the following:

- The RIAA’s perspective on the issue
- Free Culture, by Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig.
- The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group that works to protect individuals’ rights online.
- Students for Free Culture
- Creative Commons, a leading organization in the Free Culture movement. Founded by Lawrence Lessig, Creative Commons allows artists to modify the default “All Rights Reserved” copyright on their works to make them publicly available for distribution and remixing.

Come back every Wednesday for more multimedia on online privacy, cyber bullying, digital activism and more!