Answering the Call for Public Engagement
The mission of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is vitally tied to its history as a land-grant instiution with an obligation to its surrounding community. In many ways it has succeeded admirably through the extension office and dedication to cutting-edge and sustaining community development research, but the information age requires we renew this mission in new venues. I contend that Community Informatics, a subset of community development and territory of public scholarship (think Michael Burroway's Public Sociology), is well-suited to play an integral part in this mission.
Community Informatics Projects Sandbox is Jeff Ginger's pre-dissertation PhD research and project collection website.
Though it is not formally affiliated with the University much of the work here is connected to the Community Informatics Initiative, a research center based in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. At present this site serves two main functions:
- Open access to all of Jeff's Community Informatics (CI) projects and scholarship, and upon request, any of his data
- Prototyping and hosting for various CI program and partner websites. if you'd like to make use of the Community Informatics Projects webspace for free, with a few reasonable strings attached, see the website hosting section
Make sure to also check out the Community Informatics Club, a registered student organization that serves as a social and outreach extension to the regular CI curriculum.
About the Author
Jeff Ginger is a PhD student studying and library & information science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
His current studies revolve around social & community informatics, deciphering the discourse and effects of the digital divide and Web2.0, critical and creative digital literacy, human-computer interactions (HCI) and the design of supportive technologies for research and information access.
If you'd like to learn more about Jeff and his entourage of involvements and interests please check out his personal-professional website, JAG-wire.net.
CII? GSLIS? UIUC?
Confused by all of the acronyms and projects? Unclear how all of this connects to a university? Not sure which community we're talking about?
Jeff conducted most of his research during his early graduate studies on the social context of Facebook, including finding evidence of racism and sexism, discussing the ways its interface shapes identity, and exploring its meaning in relation to behaviors by undergraduate students. For more, hit the logo below.