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Anacapa School Teacher Speaks at ‘Freedom to Connect’ Conference

Levi Maaia among panelists in D.C. advocating for freedoms of innovation, creativity and personal expression online

Levi Maaia, Anacapa School’s digital media teacher and faculty adviser to its near space exploration club, is in Washington, D.C., this week for the F2C: Freedom to Connect conference.

Anacapa School teacher and broadband executive Levi Maaia recently addressed an audience of open Internet advocates at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Md.
Anacapa School teacher and broadband executive Levi Maaia recently addressed an audience of open Internet advocates at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Md. (Doc Searls photo)

The annual two-day gathering, just outside the nation’s capital, focuses on preserving what its founders see as the essential open properties of the Internet. Maaia addressed the group in his role as the third-generation vice president of Full Channel Inc., a family-owned broadband company that provides an alternative to the television, Internet and telephone services provided by Cox Communications in Rhode Island.

From his perspective at the small, independent provider, Maaia offered insight into how Full Channel remains profitable amid the present climate of corporate consolidation and media mergers.

Speaking before the audience of scholars, lobbyists and engineers, Maaia explained how his family’s small business is different from its much larger competitors.

“Nationwide we’re seeing a trend of people getting television from a variety of places, not just cable TV,” Maaia said in reference to the growing consumer trend known as “cord-cutting.”

Unlike many others in the telecommunications and media industries who lament the shift, Maaia says his family’s small company welcomes the change.

”For customers that we’ve lost to ‘cord-cutting’ …we’ve gained (and will gain) customers in high-speed Internet, digital phone and whatever’s next,” he said.

Among the other speakers at the 2012 Freedom to Connect conference were Vint Cerf, an Internet pioneer and the inventor of the online protocol suite called TCP/IP, which is the underpinning of the Web; Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard Law School professor and the founder of the Creative Commons nonprofit; and Doc Searls, an open source software advocate and a fellow at UC Santa Barbara’s Center for Information Technology & Society.

Maaia is a graduate research fellow in education at UCSB’s Gevirtz School. His research there focuses on the use of new media technologies in education. He continues to maintain his position at Full Channel, as well as his roles as course developer and teacher of the digital media program at Anacapa School.

Click here to view Maaia’s presentation, as well as many others from Freedom to Connect.

Anacapa School is an independent, co-educational, WASC–accredited, college preparatory day school for students in grades 7 through 12. Founded in 1981 by headmaster Gordon Sichi, Anacapa enjoys the best student-teacher ratio of any school, public or private, in Santa Barbara at its historic campus located in the heart of the Santa Barbara civic center.

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