H2O Frequently Asked Questions

Have Harvard professors used H2O?

Professor Jonathan Zittrain’s Fall 2011 Harvard Law School Torts class beta-tested H2O, and he has used it for multiple classes since, including Torts. The students in Professor Zittrain’s 2011 Torts class overwhelmingly preferred H2O to a traditional casebook, in no small part due to the flexibility and portability of the platform. Christopher Bavitz used H2O to teach Music & Digital Media in Spring 2015, as well as the previous 3 spring semesters. Professor Jack Goldsmith developed modules of a Cybersecurity Curriculum on H2O in Fall 2012. Other Harvard Law faculty who have used H2O for their courses are Professor Jeannie Suk (Criminal Law), Professor Holger Spamann (Corporate Law), Professor Terry Fisher (and the affiliate instructors in his CopyrightX course), and Professor Larry Lessig (Contracts).

Can I share copyrighted material in my H2O playlist?

Yes, though it must be linked to instead of uploaded directly to H2O. As content in H2O is shared under a Creative Commons 3.0 license, copyrighted material that is not compatible with that must be either directly linked to or, when excerpted, linked to behind a firewall with access only available to those who have permission to view it.

I want to use H2O to teach my class. Can you help get me going?

We are very excited to hear from professors interested in using H2O, whether to develop a new casebook from scratch or to adapt existing casebooks or syllabi. Send us an inquiry at h2o at dot cyber dot law dot harvard dot edu.

What is a playlist?

A playlist is re-mixable, user-created collection of online content that is easily shared and remixed, and is ideal for use as an online course syllabus. Professors can build a playlist from scratch or can copy another professor’s playlist and modify it according to their objectives. Professors decide what items to include on their playlist and in what order. A playlist can consist of any combination of collages, texts, cases, media items, and/or other playlists. Professors can add a description for their playlist, as well as additional notes (which they might decide to wait to display until partway through the semester).

How can I create a playlist?

Professors can create a playlist by first creating an account. To do so, click “Sign in” in the upper-right corner, and then “Sign-up now.” (Note: if using H2O anonymously, once the session ends the user will not be able to retrieve any items created while participating anonymously.) Once logged-in, click on “Playlists” in the upper-left corner, and then click on the “Create Playlist” button. Fill-in the fields and click “Submit.” The new playlist should appear. To add items to a playlist, click the “Add items” button, search for the item to add, and then click “Add” to incorporate the item into the playlist. (The browser may need to be refreshed to see the new item in the playlist.)

How can I get a case that is not in the database yet?

Click on “Cases” at the top of the screen, and then click the “Request Case” button. Fill-in the various fields describing the case, and submit the request. We will try to make the case available on H2O as soon as possible.

How can I print a playlist or a playlist item?

To print an entire playlist (including all of its items) or a single item (such as a collage, case, or text), click the print icon in the far-right corner of the header. Before printing, make sure that all of the layers and annotations that should be printed are displayed, since H2O prints only that part of the item that is shown.

How can I set aside items that I want to read later?

H2O has a bookmark tool that allows users to collect items that they want to peruse later. Just click the bookmark icon in the item’s header.

What are you working on now?

Along with recent improvements to H2O's text hiding and annotator tools, We are exploring ways to export playlists in an ePub/eBook format, along with other user interface and user experience improvements. Wee also continue to work closely with professors at Harvard Law School and elsewhere to help them use H2O in their classes.

Who has supported H2O?

H2O has received generous support from the Harvard Library Lab and the Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching, as well as Fastcase.