by Janelle Beitz
I recently returned from the 25th Annual Conference for Law School Computing, held this year at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law. The theme this year was “SuperCaliFlippalisticExperientiallyDisruptalicious,” and, as usual, there were many intriguing sessions addressing the intersection of law school and technology.
Along with two of my colleagues, I gave a presentation about our experiences helping deliver the first semester of the first ABA-accredited hybrid online/in-person J.D. program. It addressed how we “designed the courses, oriented the students, and put out the fires during this first term, both online and in-person, all while (mostly!) maintaining [our] sanity and planning the next term of online and in-person courses.” You can see the slides from our presentation here. CALI puts all of the sessions on its YouTube channel, as well; you can watch ours here. (If you’re attending AALL and you want an abbreviated version of the session in person, stop by and see me at the Distance Education Roundtable on July 19 from 11:30-12:30).
Some of the highlights of the conference for me included:
15 Ways You Didn’t Know You Could Use Oyez
I love Oyez.org, if only because you can go there and see a photo of Justices Ginsburg and Scalia together on top of an elephant. But the “multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States” is up to some really cool things:
- A multimedia storytelling project (think NYT’s “Snowfall“) called Shifting Scales: How the Roberts Court is Interpreting the Fourth Amendment.
- You can search the audio of the oral arguments for specific words/phrases, etc.
- You can embed their audio in your blog or website.
- You can share arguments and clips on Facebook and Twitter.
- They’re working on an Oyez for state supreme courts; the first state is Texas.
- Much more!
Yes, You Can! – Offering a Law Practice Tech Course at Your Law School
Doug Edmunds, the Assistant Dean for IT at UNC law school, talked about how his experiences launching and co-teaching a law practice technology course. Although it was challenging to get the course on the course calendar even after it was approved, the course was popular and went well. They covered topics such as knowledge management, e-discovery, litigation support software, e-filing, and virtual lawyering. The course fulfilled a writing requirement, and they also required the students to do a presentation at the end.
You can watch the session here.
Is This Thing On? Using Your Video Management System to Go Beyond Basic Lecture Capture
Deborah Ginsberg, the Educational Technology Librarian at IIT Chicago-Kent, talked about several different ways the professors at her school have approached the educational technology librarians and asked them for assistance in using video in their courses. The school uses Panopto as their video management system, and they used it in several different ways, including recorded lectures in flipped course models, recording students interviewing mock clients, and recording the professor in a laptop-free classroom.
You can watch her session here.
Closing Keynote: Zeynep Tufekci
Zeynep Tufecki, an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill at at the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) with an affiliate appointment in the Department of Sociology, entitled her keynote, “Ourselves, our Algorithms.” It was a thoroughly fascinating and frightening discussion about the ethical and social implications of technology. She talked of algorithms that are opaque to us, that, using social media data, computers can fire out things about us that we do not disclose. She noted that “algorithms don’t just judge, an they don’t just watch, they also nudge us.”
All in all, it was a highly enjoyable and informative conference. You can view all the sessions on CALI’s YouTube channel. I created a Storify story of some of my favorite tweets from the conference here.