Creative commons license
Submissions due May 30 midnight by email to and
Prizes announced end of class Jun 1


First prize: Trip to NYC to World Innovation Forum

June 8-9, 2010 I Nokia Theatre I New York
Flight (sponsored by JetBlue), hotel for 3 nights, full ticket to conference

Second prize: iPad + dinner at a restaurant of your choice for student and 2 friends and 2-3 partners at Open-First

If there are more great submissions, we will consider additional prize(s)

1. Ethics of Social Data Use

Source Material - Danah Boyd "Privacy and Publicity in the Context of Big Data"
"While databases have been aggregating and chomping on data for over a century, the Internet has created unprecedented opportunities for people to produce and share data, interact with and remix data, aggregate and organize data. Data is the digital air in which we breathe and countless efforts are being put into trying to make sense of all of the data swirling around. When we talk about privacy and publicity in a digital age, we can't avoid talking about data. We can't avoid talking about how data is produced, stored, shared, consumed, aggregated. Privacy is completely intermingled with Big Data."
Boyd position statement -- "Just because data is accessible doesn't mean that using it is ethical."

What are the ethical limitations for social data use? What expectations do people have for how or when data will be used? What protections should be in place and how would they be enforced? What recourse should people have?

2. Learning Differently

Source Material -- Cathy Davidson and David Goldberg "The Future of Thinking" Learning Institutions in a Digital Age
(PDF Download)
"Over the past two decades, the way we learn has changed dramatically. We have new sources of information and new ways to exchange and to interact with information. What happens to traditional educational institutions when learning also takes place on a vast range of Internet sites, from Pokemon Web pages to Wikipedia? This report investigates how traditional learning institutions can become as innovative, flexible, robust, and collaborative as the best social networking sites. The authors propose an alternative definition of "institution" as a "mobilizing network"—emphasizing its flexibility, the permeability of its boundaries, its interactive productivity, and its potential as a catalyst for change—and explore the implications for higher education."
How has the learning process changed as the result of new technologies? What new opportunities exist for collaboration? How is learning moving away from classrooms and into other venues? What role is recorded content (audio and video) playing in the flow of learning? How has research changed?

3. Atomization of Communication

How has multi-channel always available communication changed behavior and structure in social and business interaction? How are we replacing planning with ad hoc coordination? What implications does this have for the quality and context of our interactions when anticipation and expectation are replaced with surprise and discovery?

4. Incentives and Attention

How aware are we of the sources of material to which we allocate attention? Do we have explicit or implicit biases for or against peer vs authority in our decisions? What level of awareness of direction and self metrics are emerging? How does relevancy and reputation relate to these decisions?

5. Identity, Trust, and Social Capital

Investigate how we are increasing our use of online tools to establish the identity of people we come into contact with and develop our ideas of trust -- googling a potential girl/boyfriend, learning about a potential employer, checking on a person who we might engage with in an ebay/craigslist transaction... How is trust evolving through these data interaction and how does social capital accrete, how is it exposed, and how do we evaluate it qualitatively?

6. Initial Survey Analysis

Look to the 2010 student survey results for an array of insights into behavior, trends, and questions about how we are revising our actions toward new technical possibilities