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239 days ago
526 days ago
Reflections and Share-backs (4:4:15)
Facilitator: Catherine D'Ignazio
Jordan P Shareback and Reflections 
Everyone writes their ideas and feedback on post-it notes 
Miranda B Track faciliatators: Cindy Vincent, Cathy Wissink, Steve Walter, sarah kanouse
Jordan P Media Literacy Track 
becky@elab.emerson.edu First Panel: Media Literacy Lightning Talks
Jordan P Themes emerged around privacy and youth engagement; Thinking about media as a resource to engage youth to get their voices out; Using media to partner with community partners and foster a stronger sense of community. 
Second panel 
Emerging Citizens: How media production is a key device in teaching media literacy and education. Learned about memes, hashtags, and hyperlinks within the civic context in a fun and engaging way. 
Third panel
Data Portal Workshop: participants learned about data mapping and visualization techniques using the Boston Data Portal, GIS technologies, etc. to visualize your community. 
First panel: inclusive design: city, state, private sector. what inclusion means (language, physical ability, class). 
Second panel: workshop on accessibliity and using tools and the chalenges of technology. (ex: dyslexia, cognitive disorders and concentration/distraction problems with websites, color blindness). 
Third panel: service learning centers. how to be thoughtful engaged citizens and leverage recources. 
Three take aways:
  • 1. cultural ethos: "With vs For." Design with a community not for a community. That way the needs are primary. Have people there to represent the needs
  • 2. Channel your inner 
  • anthropologist
  • 3. Codesign 
Steve Walter
Jordan P Systems and advocacy track
works for (Office of New Urban Mechanics)
blurred binary between adovctae for change and works in the system 
adversary vs. within the system: flipping the idea of enemies"
Generation Citizen: bring civics to the classroom
A real focus on the systemic issues, middle school students working to create lasting change. doing applied civic work in a classroom setting. NOT a extracurricular activity, but in the classroom. 
Sensors: actual impact of sensors and contextualization. In newsrooms, etc.
Thinking holistically about who is being served. 
Jordan P Design for the margins 
projects focused on how to speak from a position and not just on behalf of? 
Who is and who is not at the table. The importance of recognizing that when you build a more inclusive group. There will always be exclusions
  1. where our data is coming from?
  1. Who is not present? 
Civic art is the creation of learning situations, not expertise to be enacted or expected. How do we empower the artist and the community
Speakers: Ceasar McDowell, Catherine D'Ignazio, Ethan Zuckerman, Erhardt Graeff, and Sarah Williams
Civic Media: Technology, Design, and Practice (the book) book launch without books? oh no... 
Its okay. You will be able to buy them! 
plz bring back Eric Gordon's book copies. 
Pleasure of a anthology is asking people you admire to contribute. They not only said yes, but they are also in the room!  The book is broadly conceived - inclusive but impossible to say that you are inclusive. Rather, trying to gather thinkers and practitioners to represent a range of activities and practices and open a conversation. 
Jordan P 19 long form essays: 8,000 word academic essay
25 case studies: 1,000 word short, in and out, example. 
Its important to find the examples when you need them, and these shorter case studies provide that service(.
Miranda B Civic Media: Technology, Design, and Practice
Jordan P The concept of common good is deeply subjective
the mechanics of acting in the world with the tools and actions available
imagine themselves of being connected, not therough achieving, but striving for common good. 
Miranda B
  • " the technologies, designs, and practices that produce and reproduce the sense of being in the world with others toward common good. While the concept of “common good” is deeply subjective, we use the term to invoke the good of the commons, or actions taken that benefit a public outside of the actor’s intimate sphere.  To this end, the civic in civic media is not merely about outcomes, but about process and potential. It is about the mechanics of acting in the world with the tools and conditions available. Civic media, then, are any mediated practice that enables a community to imagine themselves as being connected, not through achieving, but through striving for common good" (Gordon and Mihailidis 2016).
Jordan P Ethan Zuckerman speaks about all of the amazing, diverse projects, ideas seen today, but more insterested in the percentage of people that are not sold on the concepts, are highly alienated. Can these people be effective while they are pissed off? 
Miranda B Dumso (on/off) electricity going on and off. ghanaians are good at protest and social media. their symbol is flashlights and lamps. #dumsormuststop March of 5,000 people to protest power situation. What are 
When he asked friend in Ghana about his activiism, he says, I'm not political. You hear that a lot lately. said by people who are "not political.' How anti-politics and anti-insitution we have been as a whole. Losing trust in the system. (rise of Sanders who has been a politician for decades is somehow seen as anti-Washington)
Jordan P "Do you trust instituions to trust the right?" consensus is no...most people do not. Voting anf protest depends on trusting those institutions. He suggests that losing faith in institutions breaks the whole system down. 
What do we do when we lose faith in these institutions? There are other ways to make change through innnovation. For example, cheapen the cost of soloar panels, create better code to help keeop your information private. (law, markets, norms, code). Not all work is instrumental. Sometimes all we're trying to do is raise our voices so that other people can join us. 
Sean D How do we make change around these tools? 
Miranda B Download and install Signal! https://whispersystems.org  The best thing you cacn do for your privacy. (Edward Snowden uses it)
Jordan P Ceasar McDowell 
Public is demographically more complex than it has ever been. How do we start to design new civic institutions to build a more inclusive society? 
Five things ideas/ways/ sugesstions to create better civic inclusion 
  1. Successful efforts are both digital AND analog. The real challenge is to understand how analog and digital efforts can communicate with each other. 
Miranda B
  1. How do we do our work across "our tribes". We can work with people that are near us, but how do we work across the differences?
Jordan P
  1. Thinking from a full frame perspective: Instead of thinking of people as representing one issue, we need to understand that people live complex lives. 
  1. paying attention to the hyperlocal. Companies are good at large scale, but less effective at the local level. Talking to local community organizations reveals that they are successful because of face to face interactions. How can these larger companies do better at the hyperlocal level? 
Miranda B
  1. (he never did 5...) oh well...sadness ensues 
534 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by becky@elab.emerson.edu 534 days ago
becky@elab.emerson.edu Media Literacy Track Notes
Please take collaborative session notes in this document. Feel free to add pictures, videos, and links! See the full schedule here and tweet with #bostoncivicmedia
Plenary Talk Speaker: Paul Mihailidis (Emerson College), during the 10:45-11:45am session
Track Facilitator: Cindy Vincent (Salem State University) 
  • Media Literacy Lightning Talks, 11:45-12:45pm
Track facilitator: Cindy Vincent
  • Salem Public School District Civic Media Project- Cindy Vincent 
  • Multimedia Case Study on Online Privacy Education (WGBH and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society)- Bill Shribman
  • Substance Abuse Education Program and Media Literacy (Curry College)- Jeff Lemberg
  • Across Borders: Collaborative Radio Storytelling (Zumix)- Brittany Thomas
  • Citizen Journalism and Cambridge Community Television- Frank Morris
  • News Literacy: Research with the Democracy Fund- Felicia Sullivan and CIRCLE
  • Emerging Citizens: A game-based intervention for student-centered expression in digital culture Workshop, 1:45-2:45pm 
Workshop facilitator: Jordan Pailthorpe
Description: This session will focus on how fun, game based interventions can create powerful student-centered, maker-based learning experiences that harness simple web based modes of communication to teach about expression, agency and voice. The interactive workshop will feature the digital literacy game initiative, Emerging Citizens, a web based platform consisting of three multiplayer game experiences wherein students create and critique civic media. Each Emerging Citizens game incorporates content that encourages students to engage with culturally and politically relevant topics that affect their daily lives while focusing on a specific 21st digital modality (Hashtags, Memes, and Hyperlinking). Through playing and reflective dialog on each Emerging Citizens game, our session will focus on how game-based interventions fit within the larger context of media literacydiscourse, specifically focusing on the risks and rewards of giving students the power to drive conversation through creation. The session will share how game based methodologies in the classroom can engage students’ expression, creation, and sharing of civic media that contributes positively to daily life. 
  • Boston Data Portal Workshop, 2:45-3:45pm 
Workshop facilitator: Dan O'Brien
Description: Attendees of this workshop will learn to use the Boston Area Research Initiative’s (BARI) Boston Data Portal, an online platform where visitors of all experience levels can browse, map, analyze, and download a variety of data describing the people, places, and neighborhoods of Boston. The Data Portal consists of two main components: the Data Library, a repository where data can be downloaded along with documentation of their contents and origins; and BostonMap, where the same data can be visualized through interactive maps. The workshop is intended to demonstrate the data and tools provided by the Boston Data Library so they can use them to learn more about their own community, promote informed advocacy focused on Boston neighborhoods, and support the specific goals of their community. 
Attendees will be able to:
  • See Neighborhoods through “Big” Data: The Data Portal provides metrics developed through BARI research that translate administrative data from the City of Boston into interpretable measures of neighborhood conditions, including physical disorder (i.e., “broken windows”), violent crime, custodianship, and investment and growth. These measures are joined by more traditional data, like Census indicators.
  • Walk Neighborhoods with StreetView: BostonMap allows you to combine data with the ability to “walk” through the physical context of a space, powered by Google’s StreetView. Share Your Own Customized Map: Participants will visualize various types of spati information, particular to their own interests, using BostonMap. The ability to save and easily distribute your own maps will be highlighted.
  • Participate in the Conversation about Boston Data: The Boston Data Portal is an ongoing project and we will discuss of how organizations and community members alike might it, enabling us to further improve the tool and identify new data of interest.
526 days ago
Matt B
  • Around-the-room introductions
  • Context:
  • MIT Center for Civic Media
  • Partnership with Catherine D'Ignazio about Data Literacy
  • Lots of existing tools for "visualization" that process data in ways that are not learner-centric
sarah k
  • Need to maintain an empowerment frame throughout the process - learning situations
Matt B
  • Give ownership of data to communities that data is being collected from
  • Data is just "special ways of counting" == Storytelling
sarah k
  • Both quanitative and qualitative data are equally important in storytelling
Matt B
  • Databasic rooted in pedagogical approach, not technological
  • HIp-hop workshops analyzing lyrics of rap/hip-hop songs by various metrics.
  • After doing Databasic exercises, different community groups have created murals as a result of their data-driven analysis. 
  • Short activity guides for arts-based data activities live at datatherapy.org
  • Model:
  • Asking Questions
sarah k
  • Need to determine precise goals and audiences
Matt B
  • Gathering Data
  • Finding a Story
sarah k
  • Process stresses Importance of sketching in order to find a narrative arc in a story
Matt B
  • Telling your story
sarah k
  • Example of data-driven community mural - form of mural is the result of storytelling through data
  • Sample arts activities using data: datatherapy.org
  • Cannot determine the form of the story without first determining audience and goals
Matt B
  • Trying it out
  • The Tool:
sarah k
  • Word Counter
Matt B
  • Word Cloud
  • Top Words, Bigrams, Trigrams >> Latter two provide context for top words. 
sarah k
  • Tools to ask questions with data
  • SameDiff
  • Compare two different text sources; builds on WordCounter
Matt B
  • Includes intro videos, and activities to onboard new users
  • All activities can be done off-line first. 
  • Group Activity
  • Aretha Franklin V. Lady Gaga >> Different experiences of womanhood: "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" v. "Oh, Oh, Oh"
  • The Beatles >> Individualistic v. communitarian cultures: "What I want" v. "What we want"
  • Taylor Swift >> "I" as the center of the universe, the "You" is present but passive. 
  • The Beatles v. Prince >> Overlap in wanting love, but Beatles "want" love, but Prince "gets" love.
  • Prince loves us.
  • Even in fifteen minutes, major serious qualitative analysis is being done without really thinking about it.
  • "Visualization" usually passes the sketching phase and goes straight to technology. "If your story can't be sketched out on paper, it's a shit story." 
  • Questions?
  • Approaching how to communicate public health information to the masses.
  • What does that look like? Public policy? Public engagement on the ground? Getting concrete about goals.
  • Murals have political history, tapping into that existing history is power.
  • Getting beyond "let's map it" 
  • The timidity of scientists in presenting data/research
  • "Data is bullshit"--Data requires context, can't "speak for itself"
  • Understanding the cultural context, recognize and own cultural artifacts of process
  • Open data releases "are the start of a process, not the end."
  • Big Data is useless if citizens lack the capacity to analyze/use it meaningfully.
  • Interdisciplinary interaction
Liat R
  • CampusNeighbor x Soundlogics Case Study- Gabriel Mugar
Asset based community development with a focus on barting
Bartering is important; creates a reliance on interpersonal communication and trust. It's also a great way to build social captial on the local level. 
This led to the creation of campus nieghbor - a social media platform with goals and needs around various themes including food and arts. 
campusneighbor and soundlogics partnered together to create a physical installation with audio elements. This became a catalyst for placemanking and celebration of place. 
The platform entailed a creation of accounts created for people to state their inventory. This digital tool broke down top down approaches to community building while appreciating community assets. 
  • Public Space Invitational (Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics)- Michael Evans and Kris Carter
Focus on the public realm to make urban spaces more interesting, and more interactive.
One of the first projects was the solar powered seats along the greenway. The main flaw was that it wasn't intuitive. The second iteration made 
90 submissions to improve public space through the PSI competition.
Looby sky - open atrium in city hall.
Multi-colored tape on the staircases.
There's a need to make it easier for people to be engaged in city design. A community partner from day one makes a project work. 
  • The City Journalist Project Case Study (The Urbano Project)- Stella McGreggor and Lina Maria Giraldo
City Journalists. Interactive documentary website about the Egleston neighboorhood.
You see and hear the voices through the platform 
Opporunties to express their views and introduce themselves - personally and professionally - to other community members. 
The second part was to put the data 'on the street'. This entailed capacity building. Teaching people how to build things, use their phones, and learn how to interview people so the project could 'live' sustainably and empower the community. 
Egleston Winter Festival 2015 was an outcome of the project, where interactive pieces about the project lay for demonstration. 
  • Creative Communities: A South Korea Case Study- Wonyoung So
"Small world" - Extra small scale graphic design practices that are self initaitied works.
Constructing loose connections to share data, healthy collaboration. 
Exhibition then aims to capture these interdependent design practices. 
  • Citizen Science and Art: A Thermal Fishing Bob Project- Lourdes Vera
A project in collaboration with Public lab and the dept. of sociology at Northeastern. 
534 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by becky@elab.emerson.edu 534 days ago
becky@elab.emerson.edu Inclusion and Engagement Track
Please take collaborative session notes in this document. Feel free to add pictures, videos, and links! See the full schedule here and tweet with #bostoncivicmedia
Conference Track Details
Plenary Talk Speaker: Ceasar McDowell (Interaction Institute for Social Change), during the 10:45-11:45am session
Track Facilitator: Aimee Sprung (Microsoft) 
  • Designing for Inclusivity Panel (11:45-12:45pm )
Moderator: Cathy Wissink, Director of Civic Engagement at Microsoft
Description: Every time something is designed, there is an opportunity to include or exclude people. Inclusive design takes a human-centered approach, and recognizes that taking the breadth of user diversity—of capabilities, needs and aspirations—into account during design can result in products and programs that include a greater percentage of the population. As we build products, programs and technology to engage citizens, the goal is to make these available to the broadest audience possible.  That audience includes people with disabilities, as well as people of different ethnic backgrounds, ages, genders, and levels of English proficiency. Join us for a panel discussion on inclusive design where we will address the following questions:
  • What principles do we consider in designing for inclusivity?
  • How do inclusive design and universal design intersect?
  • Does inclusive design mean something different for different types of organizations – museums, government entities, corporations, non-profits?
  • What role can technology play in inclusive design, if any?
Invited panelists include:
  • Ben Wilson, VP of Interactive Design at the Museum of Science (invited)
  • Laura Greer-Cowan, Accessibility Program Manager at Microsoft
  • Harlan Weber, GovNext at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Lauren Lockwood, City of Boston
  • Mary Martin, Olin College
  • Notes:
  • Accessibility First! Workshop (1:45-2:45) 
Facilitated by: David Kelleher
Description: When producing media (web, video, or print) for Internet distribution, or teaching students how to produce media, there is a tendency to delay handling accessibility issues until late in the production process. By then, there are few opportunities for meaningful implementation. This workshop will demonstrate how disabled users view media, share the value of adding accessibility early in the process, and teach simple ways for anyone who makes media to create more accessible productions. Workshop participants will use their laptops to visit sites that simulate disabilities, and can try altering settings to see how disabled users are accommodated. Screen readers, color blindness simulators, and website keyboard navigation are three examples that will be covered. Visual impairment, hearing loss, physical limitations, and learning disabilities will all be considered. An accessible first process will be described that includes advocating for accessibility, taking advantage of expert resources, defining responsibilities, engaging disabled users during the design stage, and choosing compliant technologies. Short exercises that demonstrate how to create accessible media will include: 1. Exporting "tagged" PDFs from Microsoft Word. 2. Writing WCAG compliant HTML code. 3. Auto-captioning Youtube videos.
  • Service Learning Panel (2:45-3:45pm )
This panel, moderated by Becca Berkey (Northeastern University) features different service-learning professionals from Boston-area universities in the hopes of elucidating some of the processes and philosophies behind how institutions form, support, and sustain ongoing, mutually beneficial partnerships with the community. In this work, two main questions are at the heart of service-learning course and program design:
1) What should the students be learning? and 
2) What does the community need? However, given different institutional structures, goals, and resources, these questions may be approached in a variety of ways- and the aim of this panel is to remove some of the mystery behind these sometimes complex dynamics. Panelists and audience members will collaboratively explore how, if this work were a continuum with the university on one side and the community on the other, partnerships can be fostered in the middle. 
  • Notes:
526 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Shane Clyburn , Ashley T , becky@elab.emerson.edu 526 days ago
What next steps can this group take to pursue these opportunities?
Shane C Participant/Intros:
Steve Buckley from Open Government
  • Average citizen doesn't know how to get involved in public planning
Laura from Mobile Capital Boston 
  • Connecting people to social capital
Samantha Casto from City Hall To Go
  • Getting people to take advantage & think actively about engaging with the city
Eric Gordon from Engagement Lab
  • looking to make liberal arts education deeply relevant through connections & civic media
Patrick Phillips
  • lack of public data about land, air, water & place - creating a network
Ben Peterson from Boston Academic College
  • Getting citizens to be active participants
Lonnie from TIKA
Erhardt from MIT - increase women & poc to apply to program
Walter from Bridgewater State University
Katherine from Lesley
Andrea from Emerson College
Ashley T Ashley from Emerson College - Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning, and Research - increase culture of civic engagement, civic action, & civic mindedness
Shane C Rob from Emerson College - 
Steve from Office of New Urban Mechanics - improving narratives for communicating w/ citizens
How to Solve a Social Problem
  • Awareness & Education
  • Direct Service
  • Policy
Kahn's 3 types of citizen:
  • personally responsible - aware that there is a problem "donates to food bank"
  • participatory - more actively serve "organizes a food drive"
  • justice oriented - citizen engages in policy "why are people hungry in the first place"
  • society needs all types of citizens, but justice-oriented citizens are most difficult & rarest
America ranked 139th out of 172 participatory democracies when it comes to our voting rates
Generation Citizen works to ensure that every student in the US receives an effective action civics education, which provides them with the knowledge and skills necessary to become engaged in civic life.
The Advocacy Hourglass:
community issues
focus issue
root cause
It takes a lot of research to figure out opportunities & develop advocacy
Generation Citizen is oriented toward policy, so solutions will be government-based
A general timeline of the Generation Citizen Classroom:
Focus Issue > Policy-Level Solution > Advocacy Hourglass > Real Action > students gain skills, knowledge & experience in civic engagement
How can civic media help...
  • students understand the issues facing their community
  • prioritize issues
  • understand the systems related to their issues
  • understand possible policies to address a systemic root cause
  • what have other states/munis done
  • what are groups advocating for
  • what gov't leaders are involved in this policy and how can we reach them
  • convince our decision-makers or mobilize larger groups
  • Civic Tech Challenge
Gillian Pressman:
  • Farm.fathom.info: Commercial Farming and Civic Tech (Fathom Information Design)- Mark Schiffer
  • Play to Change: Using City-based Social Games to Engae You and Civic Leaders in Public Engagement
  • Open Sourcing and Documentation in Citizen Science and Beyond (Public Lab)- Jeff Warren
  • Livestream Technology for Civic Life (MIT Center for Civic Media)- Gordon Magnum
  • Livestream can help with discoverability and curation
  • vertical livestream search-ability: searching across platforms
  • you can annotate livestreams with images, maps, and "context cards" 
  • Civic applications
  • coverage of local elections
  • expand participation in public meetings
  • gov efforts to improve accessibility or awareness
  • activism/outreach/education uses for trans-media campaigns
  • They're currently in public beta and would love to engage with citizen journalists
  • Video is the underlying narrative to explore rich and complex topics
  • Get in touch via @gordonmangum @streamdeeper!
  • The Respect in Reporting Campaign (PressPass TV, Cara Berg-Powers)
  • There is a disconnect between reporting events and why/the importance of sharing stories, how can headlines have more empathy to the topics and subjects of stories? 
  • PressPass TV helps inject more diverse perspectives behind the news stories
  • Guidelines for newsrooms developed by PressPassTV
  • Minimize harm
  • sensitivity, kindness, consideration, resources
  • Act Independently
  • verification
  • consider "expertise" 
  • Seek the truth and report it
  • Be Accountable 
  • The Cambridge Broadband Task Force: When Bad Process Happens to Good People- Saul Tannenbaum
  • The perfect storm: municipal broadband in Cambridge
  • let's not overlook the obvious in these community meetings
534 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by becky@elab.emerson.edu 534 days ago
becky@elab.emerson.edu Technology, Design, and Social Impact
Date & Time: June 10th, 2015, 9am-6pm
Contact Person: Becky Michelson becky@elab.emerson.edu, (415) 994-4763
Sarah W Are food and coffee provided? Yes, during the day there will be pastries, lunch, and coffee. During the evening, there will be an open bar with beer, wine, and soft drinks.  
Sarah W
  • Overview
becky@elab.emerson.edu Last year, Boston Civic Media was launched after a convening on Metrics and Methods where we discussed the barriers, opportunities, and foundational goals of civic media research. This year we’re back with a full day of learning, celebrating, and community-building. The day is full of opportunities to:
  • Meet community leaders, techies, city officials, journalists, designers, academics, students, and more who are passionate about using media and technology for the common good
  • Listen to lightning talks on topics ranging from civic technology case studies to best practices for community collaboration
  • Participate in workshops on topics such as facilitation, design-research, and media strategies for social change
  • Schedule with Links for Note-Taking
Sarah W Doors open
Coffee and pastries abound
Sarah W Welcome and Introduction
becky@elab.emerson.edu Eric Gordon, Catherine D'Ignazio, and Becky Michelson
  • Keynote Speaker 
Boston City Councillor Ayanna Pressley
Plenary Lightning Talks
Moderator: Susan Owusu
Speakers: Ceasar McDowell, Paul Mihailidis, Ryanne Olsen, and Karin Goodfellow
Sarah W 11:15 
becky@elab.emerson.edu Community Announcement!
Coffee Break
Session I  of Workshops and Lightning Talks
  • Civic Media and Action Civics in the Classroom- Workshop Facilitator: Gillian Pressman
  • Unconference Sessions
  • Session II of Workshops and Lightning Talks
  • Accessibility First! Workshop- Workshop Facilitator: David Kelleher,
  • Emerging Citizens: A game-based intervention for student-centered expression in digital culture- Workshop Facilitator: Jordan Pailthorpe
  • Systems and Advocacy Lightning Talks- Facilitator: Stephen Walter
  • Civic Art Lighting Talks- Facilitator: Sarah Kanouse
  • Unconference Sessions
  • Session III of Workshops and Lightning Talks
  • Human-Centered Design Workshop- Workshop Facilitator: Carlyn James
  • Boston Data Portal Workshop- Workshop Facilitator: Dan O'brien
  • Government Edition: Systems and Advocacy Lightning Talks- Facilitator: Stephen Walter
  • Service Learning Centers Panel- Moderator: Callie Gaherty
  • Unconference Sessions
Coffee Break
Reflections and Share-backs
Facilitator: Catherine D'Ignazio
Civic Media: Technology, Design, Practice Book Launch

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