Blog Post

Learning, Freedom, and the Web: A Book Designed for Remixing

I have had the most delightful time reading and remixing Learning, Freedom, and the Web, a free ebook written in HTML 5 by Fast Company's inimitable Anya Kamenetz. It is one of the first truly remixable books I've had the pleasure to read:  Check it out!

If you are teaching this semester (just about anything, actually), have your students read and play and then come back and tell you what a "book" is.   My last post was about the most exploitative book contract I've ever been presented with.   Learning, Freedom, and the Web is the opposite.  It invites us, as readers, to be authors too.  It opens itself to any of us to remix, interact with, to engage.   It may be the future of the book.   Check it out and let me know what you think.

Mozilla invited my class of five undergraduate and graduate students--FutureClass--to Barcelona for the Drumbeat Festival there in Fall 2010.  My students had a full tent, with two full days of programing, interactive exercises, "low tech social networks" (post its and a flip board!).   We were right next to the HackerBus and the digital fortune teller.  Robots ambled into the tent, along with lots of Barcelona's famous street folks (they have raised pick pocketing to an art form), right out there in the Square, two days of interaction that this book attempts to recapture.  


If my last post was about a "death star contract," that effectively spelled the end of authorship in any sane, far world----this ebook, Learning, Freedom, and the Web signals the birth of a new kind of book, a new model of authorship, that, like everything about Mozilla, emphasizes open access and fair play and interaction.  Reader as producer, not just consumer.  Author as co-learner.

The book as a "festival."  It's far more fun than one could imagine.  Play with it.  Enjoy!



Cathy N. Davidson is co-founder of HASTAC, and author of The Future of Thinking:  Learning Institutions for a Digital Age (with HASTAC co-founder David Theo Goldberg), and  Now You See It:  How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn (Viking Press). She is co-PI on the HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competitions.   NOTE:  The views expressed in Cat in the Stack blogs and in NOW YOU SEE IT are solely those of the author and not of HASTAC, nor of any institution or organization. Davidson also writes on her own author blog, [NYSI cover]


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