H2O 2.0: A New Way to Create and Share Legal Ed Texts


Session Description

Casebooks are expensive, inflexible, proprietary and mostly unavailable in digital form. This is bad for law faculty and their students. Given the capabilities of the web and the public domain nature of most of the materials in casebooks, faculty and students should have a way to create, adapt, view and print on-demand digital caseboks in their browsers.

H2O offers a platform for making and sharing open-licensed casebooks and other course materials online, by allowing professors to freely develop, remix, and share online textbooks under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. H2O is based on the open-source model: instead of locking down materials in formalized textbooks, we believe that course books can be free (as in “free speech”) for everyone to access and, just as important, build upon. Currently, H2O is geared primarily toward law professors, though the platform can be used across intellectual domains.

In this, presenter Brett Johnson from the Harvard Law School's Library Innovation Lab will discuss the newest, just-released iteration of H2O and how it reflects things learned from the first iteration, the lab's real-life experiences with sharing/remixing in the legal education arena, and producing texts that are direct-to-student + print-on-demand, as well as how the lab has navigated questions of copyright on an open-course platform along with discussing future directions for H2O.

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