Submitted Proposals

Organization: Yale University
Title :
23. Overcoming Obstacles to Effective Digital Education
Provide a concise formulation for the proposed workshop theme including its importance and relevance to the IGF.
Internet technological advances have the potential to improve educational opportunities in ways previously unimaginable, yet various roadblocks prevent the Internet from reaching this potential. These roadblocks are technical, economic, institutional, cultural, and legal; overcoming them will require the collaboration of governments, industry, and civil society to identify solutions that work for educators and students. Last year’s panel entitled “Towards the Development of Effective Exceptions to and Limitations on Copyright in the Realm of Digital Education” led to the creation of a new IGF Dynamic Coalition on Digital Education (DCODE) and the signing of a Declaration on Digital Education.

This year’s event will build on that strong foundation, examining a broader set of issues including: roadblocks stemming from protections of intellectual property and related rights, including copyright laws, broadcast regulations, digital rights management (DRM) measures, technological barriers, and hardware incompatibilities. This workshop will bring together teachers, publishers, technologists, scholars, and activists to identify solutions to these roadblocks including: best practices in Internet governance, policy solutions, research, open educational materials, and technological architecture for realizing the potential of the Internet to enhance global educational opportunities.
Provide the names and affiliations of the panellists you are planning to invite. Describe the main actors in the field and whether you have you approached them about their willingness to participate in proposed workshop.

The main actors and possible workshop panelists include:


  • Luis Villaroel, Intellectual Property Advisor to the Chilean Ministry of Education and Vice-Chair of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (Confirmed availability)
  • Amit Ashkanazi, Israeli Law Information and Technology Authority, Ministry of Justice, Israel (Invitation Pending)
  • Susan D'Antoni, UNESCO (Invitation Pending)


  • Lindsey Weeramuni, MIT OpenCourseware (Confirmed availability)
  • Titi Akinsanmi, Johannesburg, South Africa. (Confirmed availability)
  • Philipp Schmidt, University of Western Cape, South Africa (Confirmed availability)

Advocacy Organizations:

  • Eddan Katz, Electronic Frontier Foundation (Confirmed Availability)


  • Akhtar Badshah, Microsoft Corporation (Technology) (Invitation Pending)
  • Crispin Taylor, American Society of Plant Biologists (Publishing) (Invitation Pending)
Provide the name of the organizer(s) of the workshop and their affiliation to various stakeholder groups. Describe how you will take steps to adhere to the multi-stakeholder principle, including geographical diversity.
  • ccLearn
  • Diplo Foundation
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation (Eddan Katz)
  • Hungarian Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement
  • IP Justice
  • ISOC Venezuela
  • Sun Microsystems
  • United Nations Association of Venezuela
  • University of the Western Cape, South Africa
  • Yale Information Society Project
Does the proposed workshop provide different perspectives on the issues under discussion?
The proposed workshop will provide perspectives from industry, academica, governments, and advocacy organizations and will provide perspectives from different geogrpahical regions, including the Global South.
Please explain how the workshop will address issues relating to Internet governance and describe how the workshop conforms with the Tunis Agenda in terms of substance and the mandate of the IGF.
The Tunis Agenda refers to a set of roadblocks. It recognizes that the bridging of the digital divide will require adequate and sustainable investments in ICT infrastructure and services. These investments are needed to achieve a better infrastructural environment of digital education. The Tunis Agenda also notes that the challenges for expanding the scope of useful accessible information content in the developing world are numerous, In accordance with the Tunis Agenda our workshop fits into the Development/Capacity Building theme and the Openness theme. The development of public-private partnerships between corporations, NGOs, and governments is essential to bridge technological and legal obstacles. But capacity without content is useless; thus obstacles to development of information and limitations on the distribution of that information must be addressed simultaneously with issues of technological and political capacity. This workshop will examine the role of government and other stakeholders in enabling and shaping a better environment of capacity building and development, exploring non-market as well as market solutions, including potential new business models.
List similar events you and/or any other IGF workshops you have organized in the past.
Roundtable on the Impact of Copyright on Digital Education. eLearning Africa 2008 Conference, Ghana. Digital Education Workshop at the Second Internet Governance Forum, November 13, 2007 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Towards the Development of Effective Exceptions to and Limitations on Copyright in the Realm of Digital Education. Panel on Education in the Digital Age at the second Access to Knowledge conference (A2K2) at Yale Law School, April 29, 2007 Panel on Exceptions and Limitations to Copyright at the first Access to Knowledge Conference at Yale Law School, April 22, 2006
Were you part of organizing a workshop last year? Which one? Did you submit a workshop report?
The Yale Information Society Project, as an institution was a co-organizer of last year's Digital Education workshop as well as IGF workshops on Open Standards and Access to Knowledge (in both 2006 and 2007). It is our understanding that reports were submitted for the Open Standards and Access to Knowledge workshops, but not for the Digital Education workshop. We will absolutely commit to submitting a report for this workshop.