Globally Engaged, Digitally Enabled

June 2, 2009

gppgrid_600x600_300ppiNoah Wittman and Rick Jaffe to lead Social Media and Networking session from 1:15 to 3:30 pm on Thursday, June 9, at the New Media Consoritum conference in Monterey, California.

Title: Globally Engaged, Digitally Enabled:  Harnessing Web-based technologies for Service Learning and Scholarly Networking

Session Description:  How can new web-based technologies be leveraged to support learning, collaboration and scholarly networking? The presenters team with students and practitioners in the Global Poverty and Practice minor at the University of California, Berkeley to provide an online environment that goes beyond traditional learning management systems. As the minor reinvents the classroom in a globally connected society, this project explores the possibilities of the emerging network form for engaged scholarship among educators and students.

Conference Website:
http://www.nmc.org/node/6356

More Info About Project:
https://okapi.wordpress.com/projects/blum-social-networking-platform/

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New Collaboration with Blum Center for Developing Economies

March 10, 2009

blumy-thumbsWe are working the the Blum Center for Developing Economies to develop  a web-based platform for reflective learning, project collaboration, and social networking for scholars and practitioners associated with the Global Poverty and Practice (GPP) minor at the University of California, Berkeley.  The goal of our platform is to enhance and extend the reach and impact of the GPP curriculum by providing a student-empowering online environment more closely fitted to the needs of the minor than the traditional top-down, instructor-centered learning management system.

The GPP minor is transforming undergraduate curriculum to support service learning, social entrepreneurship, and most importantly, the opportunity for learners to creatively and critically reflect upon their experience.  Students in the program engage with global poverty through hands-on projects in developing regions of the world and in their local communities.  The GPP Minor’s approach helps students better understand their place in the world, their role as global citizens, and the contribution they can make in grappling with poverty and inequalities whether they become development practitioners, lawyers, architects or engineers.

Implemented using free and open-source software, our platform provides student portfolio tools and a social networking and communications hub that stays with the students as they progress through their undergraduate education and out into the world.  Features include Facebook-like social networking, blogs and wiki-like writing tools, file storage and sharing, discussion and messaging channels, and access to personal collections and communications maintained on web-based services (e.g., YouTube, Flickr, Twitter) across the Internet.  Mzuri connects students with an interactive network of peers, mentors, and colleagues essential to supporting their development and reflection.  It creates an intellectual commons for continued connection after graduation, which will allow alumni to serve as mentors to the students who succeed them in the minor.

The GPP minor is reinventing the classroom in an increasingly globally networked society.  Our platform explores, with educators and students, both the limits and possibilities of the emerging network form for engaged scholarship.  Our platform addresses not just the technological but the social, cultural, pedagogical and political dimensions of this transformation; it represents not just a one-time tool development effort but a commitment to fostering and sustaining a community of scholars and practitioners.

Link to Working Prototype:
http://gppminor.dreamhosters.com/hub/

Project Website:
https://okapi.wordpress.com/projects/blum-social-networking-platform/


Ars Synthetica Prototype Launches

March 1, 2009

http://www.ars-synthetica.net

http://www.ars-synthetica.net

We are pleased to announce the launch of a working prototype (beta release) of Ars Synthetica, a web-based multimedia forum for engaging specialists and non-specialists in an informed, ethical, and democratic dialogue on the emerging field of synthetic biology.

Paul Rabinow introduces Ars Synthetica

Anthropology professor Paul Rabinow introduces Ars Synthetica to his colleagues.

Ars Synthetica is a collaboration between Open Knowledge and the Public Interest, the Anthropology of the Contemporary Research Collaboratory, and the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (Harvard, Berkeley, MIT, QB3, UCSF, Prairie View A&M). The site is designed to provide multiple participatory channels for exploring questions about ethics, security, and how cutting-edge research in the biosciences is organized, governed, funded, and expanded. How will synthetic biology shape and be shaped by medicine, energy, and environmental needs? Whose business is ethics? What are the limits to what we can design? These are the kinds of questions that Ars Synthetica poses to expert and lay communities alike. Our goal is to actively resist the polemics that often characterize public discourse about new science and technology. We seek the fertile grounds for discourse between the hype of revolution on the one side and fears of “playing God” on the other. The outcome will not provide absolute or final answers, but  enable a diverse range of participant responses, perspectives, and concerns.

Ars Synthetica will feature many student projects, such as this multimedia piece by Marlee Tichenor

Ars Synthetica will feature many student projects, such as this multimedia piece by Marlee Tichenor

We are releasing the site  as a public beta, while the Ars Synthetica team develops site content, expands participation and gathers feedback before the next round of development. During the Spring ’09 semester, students in Professor Rabinow’s graduate and undergraduate courses will be preparing content for Ars Synthetica.

Features of Ars Synthetica:

youtubePathways
Provide a means of representing and giving form to nonlinear connections among the many elements of the Ars Synthetica site. We anticipate developing and allowing our community to develop multiple nonlinear pathways through Ars Synthetica.

Problems, Truth Claims & Debates
Ars Synthetica features Problems, Truth Claims and Debates, designed to engage visitors in reflection and dialogue around emerging issues in the life sciences.  Whose business is ethics? Are there limits to what we can design? Are biologists playing God? Ars Synthetica users can contribute to existing  Problems, Truth Claims and Debates or contribute new ones.

Archive
The Archive contains abstracts and full publications related to synthetic biology, including scientific journal articles and popular press publications.

Contribute
Allows visitors to upload their own multimedia products, including  research papers and multimedia works. Once uploaded, others can comment on the works of others.

blog1Blog
The blog aggregates posts from multiple authors and blogs, including On the Assembly of Things, Vital Systems Security, Biopower and the Contemporary, and Synbio and the Technocrat, and the student-run iGEM blog.

Platform
The Website is built using Omeka, open-source software for museum exhibits and collections. The site uses a custom version of our OKAPI exhibit template for Omeka.

Web 2.0
The site is distributed  across the web, leveraging multiple technologies and services, including  MediaWiki, YouTube, Blip.tv, Flickr, Scribd, and Vuvox.

Ars Synthetica: Designs for Human Practice
Explore this publication, authored by Paul Rabinow and Gaymon Bennett, to learn more about the ideas underlying this project.

Public Understanding of Research Program
This project was developed under OKAPI’s Public Understanding of Research Program.


Welcome President Obama!

January 20, 2009

obama
Sproul Plaza, University of California, Berkeley, January 20, 2009

OKAPI welcomes a new era of transparency and accountability in government.  The recently-launched whitehouse.gov will prioritize communication, transparency and participation.


Ars Synthetica Demonstration

December 8, 2008

“On the Anthropology of the Contemporary”
Paul Rabinow, Professor of Anthropology, UC Berkeley
Wednesday December 10th
2:00 – 3:30pm, 221 Kroeber Hall
University of California, Berkeley 

This Wednesday, Paul Rabinow, Professor of Anthropology at UC Berkeley will demonstrate the Ars Synthetica Website as part of his Anthropology of the Contemporary lecture. 

Ars Synthetica is a web-based multimedia forum for engaging specialists and non-specialists in an informed, ethical, and democratic dialogue on the emerging field of synthetic biology as well as issues of new forms of design and construction more generally. Its goal is to provide multiple participatory channels for exploring questions about how cutting-edge research in the biosciences is organized, governed, funded, and expanded. Our goal is develop a pedagogical tool that provides a platform for teaching, research, and critical discussion. Leveraging existing open source platforms, which we will interface and modify, Ars Synthetica will facilitate engagement with such critical questions as: How will synthetic biology shape and be shaped by medicine, energy, and environmental needs? Whose business is ethics? What are the limits to what we can design?

Learn More About Ars Synthetica:
https://okapi.wordpress.com/projects/ars-synthetica/

Working Prototype:
http://www.ars-synthetica.net


Beyond EText: Remediated Places Final Draft

September 19, 2007

The final draft of “Senses of Places: Remediations from text to digital performance” by Ruth Tringham, Michael Ashley and Steve Mills has been posted on the Remediated Places blog. This article has been prepared for the upcoming (December 2007) electronic version of Visual Anthropology Review


Web Exhibition Nominated for 2007 MUSE Award

May 8, 2007

 

kam_shotExtremophiles in Kamchatka, an online exhibition produced by OKAPI program manager Noah Wittman, was recently nominated by the American Association of Museums for a 2007 MUSE Award

Extremophiles in Kamchatka
http://www.exploratorium.edu/kamchatka/