Martin Wolske and I taught our first class together this evening for our course, titled “Community Informatics Studio,” at GSLIS this semester. Here’s the description:
The course will investigate how individuals, libraries, and other community-based organizations can use popular education and participatory design methods as a meaningful approach to digital and media literacy training. We will begin by building a foundation using readings from, and conversations with, leading thinkers in the areas of popular education and participatory action research and design. The studio model will then provide opportunities for students to design, apply, and refine their own participatory workshops and “train the trainers” who will be able to provide workshops of their own. Students will be expected to design and lead discussions to help libraries and community partner organizations achieve the following objectives: (1) develop capacities to engage with emerging technology, (2) respond to and support existing needs and assets around technology use, and (3) re-imagine the role of formal libraries and informal information spaces in the 21st century.
Martin and I have invited a number of speakers to join us this semester to share their participatory approaches to digital and media literacy education. I am particularly excited to announce that Virginia Eubanks, author of Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age and her colleague Christine Nealon, will join us for one of our classes. During her visit, Dr. Eubanks will also be doing a book talk at the Champaign Public Library on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 5:30PM = Free!
Here’s the abstract:
Despite widespread celebrations of Twitter Revolutions and social media activism, the relationship between new technology and the social justice goals of peace, freedom, equality and dignity for all people is deeply contradictory. In this talk, scholar-activist Virginia Eubanks will reflect on fifteen years of efforts with three grassroots organizations–Our Knowledge, Our Power: Surviving Welfare, the Popular Technology Workshops, and Women at the YWCA Making Social Movement– to make technology serve the needs of oppressed and exploited people in the United States.
The event is sponsored by the proposed Center for Digital Inclusion at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Co-sponsored by the Center for Advanced Study, the Gender and Women’s Studies Program, the Mix IT Up! Youth Advocacy Project funded by the US Institute of Museum and Library Services, Action Research Illinois, and the Women’s Resources Center, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. With the Champaign County Health Care Consumers and the Independent Media Center.
I look forward to sharing more about our course this semester and learning more from our students and community members who will be working to design meaningful interventions to address shared challenges and opportunities with technology playing a supporting role.