CURRENT RESEARCH


Towards an Effective Digital Literacy Intervention to Assist Returning Citizens with their Job Search
We seeks to understand how formerly incarcerated individuals or returning citizens search for jobs, what level of digital literacy skills they have in general and with respect to job search, and what digital literacy pedagogy is useful for returning citizens. Writing a resume, searching for new knowledge or skills using the internet, researching a company, and addressing your online brand are digital literacy skills that are important when acquiring a job. Overall, while researchers have been able to describe the challenges of the re-entry process, none have sought to understand the connection between returning citizens digital literacy skills and their job search. We will provide digital literacy training to several returning citizens using action research based on our findings in our previous research project that interviewed returning citizens surrounding their use of technology and their job search. Specifically, we hope to understand the following research questions:
  1. How do returning citizens find jobs?
  2. How do returning citizens interact with digital technologies, both in general and for job search?
  3. What kind of digital literacy content and pedagogy is useful to returning citizens, specifically for job searching tasks and skill development?



PAST RESEARCH


Online Conversations in Changing Neighborhoods
In this study, we explore online communication about gentrification in one Chicago neighborhood. Using data mining techniques, we identify patterns in online conversations to understand how residents discuss neighborhood change, social capital, and collective efficacy. Our overall goal of the project is to inform the design of community-based technologies that facilitate communication amongst residents who are newcomers and predecessors.We built scrapers for sites such as Yelp, Everyblock, and Reddit using Python and Scrapy. This resulted in over 10,000 comments which we began to analyze using inductive qualitative analysis in Atlas.Ti. Click HERE to learn about the design and development process