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Monday, February 11, 2008

Yale ISP Forms Coalition To Address Challenges of Education in the Digital Era

The Yale Law School Information Society Project (ISP) has joined with more than a dozen institutions and individuals from around the world to create a coalition dedicated to providing teachers and students with better access to digital information.

The Dynamic Coalition on Digital Education (DCoDE) will develop norms, policies and regulations that promote the best use of technological resources in education—giving educators the access they need to digital information while at the same time, protecting content producers. It will pay particular attention to the role of intellectual property and how copyright rules influence the everyday decisions of digital educators.

The coalition came out of a workshop organized by Yale ISP at the United Nations Internet Governance Forum in Rio de Janeiro this past November.

“The Yale ISP has worked on digital education and copyright with a wide variety of partners, including university professors, advocacy groups, policymakers, and technology innovators,” said ISP student fellow Nathaniel Gleicher ’09. “Because of this broad, collaborative experience, the Yale ISP is in a unique position to bring these interest groups together to form DCoDE.”

Julia Sonnevend, Microsoft Resident Fellow at the ISP, helped organize the November workshop, which was sponsored by the Hewlett Foundation. Other organizers included the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Ministry of Education of Chile, the Hungarian Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement, IP Justice, Fundação Getulio Vargas School of Law in Rio de Janeiro, the American Society of Plant Biologists, and Intel.

“Our goal was to bring together the open educational resources community, distance educators, copyright reform advocates, and other relevant experts so that we could collaborate in developing best practices related to digital education and coordinate future policy efforts,” said Sonnevend.

“The ISP is particularly interested in seeing whether copyright reform could facilitate a more hospitable environment for the uses educators make of digital materials,” said Eddan Katz, former ISP executive director and lecturer in law at Yale Law School.

The Dynamic Coalition on Digital Education is sponsored by the Ford Foundation. The eighteen founding members include Aprender la Libertad; NGO Bienes Comunes; Creative Commons; Diplo Foundation; Electronic Frontier Foundation; Foundation for Media Alternatives; International Institute for Communications and Development; IP Justice; Media Research Center at the Department of Sociology and Communications at Budapest University of Technology and Economics; Monterey Jazz Festival Digital Music Education Project and the Yale Law School Information Society Project.

The Information Society Project at Yale Law School was founded in 1997 by Professor Jack Balkin to study the impact of the Internet and other information technologies on law and society.  For more information, visit http://isp.yale.edu/.