I had the pleasure of giving a few presentations at this year’s CALICon conference, located at American University. The first conference I went to after starting at the Harvard Law Library was at American University, making this a homecoming of sorts: In 2014 I gave a 7 minute presentation on H2O at the LegalED conference; this year at CALI I gave two 1-hour long presentations on Perma.cc and H2O.
Discussing H2O was a natural fit for CALICon – “Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction” conference – given the H2O redesign’s focus on legal textbooks over other concentrations.
The session was fruitful, and I had the time to dig into a few different areas:
- The core precepts we considered integral to H2O as a platform: easy to read and access, easy to build a casebook on, ability to clone and remix others’ content, and ability to export the content as a potential print-on-demand text.
- Changes that we’ve made so far on the redesign, including ‘draft mode’ and the simpler user dashboard: while H2O’s old dashboard served as a collection-place of various items, H2O’s new dashboard serves as the launching point for users to access their casebooks.
- What’s next for H2O: CAP integration, improved export, and other enhancements such as the ability to share edit access to your casebook.
- Finally, challenges to H2O use and adoption: the workload required of an instructor interested in creating a new casebook (and how to ameliorate that); the continuing interest in paper texts despite the digital option, and how to keep up support for non print-on-demand users.
There was an good back-and-forth on what sort of faculty are more or less interested in digital, open casebooks, as well as helpful feedback from CALI member Elmer Masters (who’s been a part of CALI’s related eLangdell project for some time).
Thanks to everyone that came out and shared their thoughts – and see you next year! -Brett
**Updated July 8, 2013 with more specific logistical details**
On the afternoon of Wednesday, July 10th, Professor Zittrain and I will be presenting and demo-ing H2O at the George Washington University Law School Library. Interested faculty, law librarians, academic technologists, and others from around the area are welcome to join us, as we discuss the platform, its use to date at Harvard Law School, and the various faculty from around the country who are developing digital casebooks on H2O. The H2O team is grateful to Professor and Director of the Law Library Scott B. Pagel of George Washington University Law School for hosting us.
The 2:00 – 3:00 pm session will be primarily addressed to faculty, and the 3:00 – 4:00 pm session will be primarily addressed to librarians, academic technologists, and others. Both sessions will take place at:
The George Washington University
The Steven A. and Barbara Tasher Great Room
Jacob Burns Law Library
716 20th Street NW, Washington, DC
(Between G & H Streets)
Please e-mail us < h2o at cyber.law.harvard.edu > to RSVP.
**Updated on 4/11 with more details re locations**
I am greatly looking forward to the opportunity to discuss H2O at Yale University on Tuesday, April 16th. As part of the SCOPA Forum, I will be presenting H2O as an online platform for textbook development and distribution from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm in the International Room at the Sterling Memorial Library. And, from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm at 40 Ashmun Street, Fourth Floor, at the Information Society Project at the Yale Law School, I will informally discuss some of the technological, policy, and community practice-related issues associated with H2O. I’m keen to hear — before and after the presentations — from faculty, students, librarians, technologists, and others who may be interested in the platform.
We are excited to demo H2O to faculty, law librarians, and education technologists at Boston University School of Law on Monday, April 8th, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm in the Faculty Lounge.
Kim Dulin — a Co-Director of the Harvard Library Innovation Lab and the Associate Director for Collection Development and Digitization at the Harvard Law School Library — and I plan to discuss the use of H2O in HLS courses and to showcase some of H2O’s innovative features, including the text-layering-and-annotating tool. We hope to also show professors how they can can build their own digital casebooks on H2O, whether by transforming an existing syllabus into an H2O playlist, building off a preexisting H2O playlist or set of playlists, or creating a brand-new playlist.
We plan to present H2O during the lightning talks at the Annotations@Harvard Convergence Workshop in the Radcliffe Gymnasium on March 28th. The event’s organizers have lined up a great collection of projects involving annotations.
H2O allows users to provide in-line annotations in collages. Professor Zittrain, for instance, added a few explanatory notes and definitions in U.S. v. Carroll Towing Co. in his spring 2013 Torts playlist.