Event: TASCHA at the iSchool Research Fair

TASCHA researchers will be presenting their ongoing work at the annual iSchool research fair on March 9th, 6:30-8:00pm in the HUB South Ballroom. With topics ranging from the future of libraries to the development of a information literacy curriculum for mobile users, the fair is a chance to speak with researchers about the many ways TASCHA is approaching information issues around the globe.  Team members will be presenting several of our ongoing projects, see below for a short summary of what to look for:

Melody Clark

Mobile Information Literacy: Digital & Information Literacy Skills for Mobile-Centric Populations

For billions of people coming online around the world, mobile phones (and increasingly smartphones) are their point of entry to the internet. However, the user experience on a smartphone is very different from that on a PC or a feature phone. The different affordances and limitations of each device shape how people interact with information, and even one’s conceptualization of the internet itself. Existing information and digital literacy frameworks illustrate a PC-centric orientation. At the same time, lack of digital skills remains a top barrier to taking advantage of technology. Mobile Information Literacy – a combination of digital, internet, and information literacies for smartphone-first and smartphone-centric populations – fills a critical gap between access alone and realization of the benefits mobile technologies and applications can have.

Maria Garrido, Chris Jowaisas, Lucas Koepke, Michelle Fellows

Development and Access to Information: Assessing the contribution of access to information to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Access to information (A2I) is an issue that underpins development policies globally. We see this in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 Agenda, where A2I is embedded in targets on ensuring public access to information and universal internet access, while also supporting targets on improved health, education, economic, and governance outcomes. Our project will assess how A2I contributes to advancing the SDGs. This poster shares early outputs from our research, including a conceptual framework and a baseline of indicators that will be used to track progress in the A2I landscape through 2030.

Chris Coward

TASCHA and Future of Libraries

With funding from the Gates Foundation, the Technology & Social Change Group is embarking on a 10-year partnership with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the Public Library Association (PLA) to continue the transformation of public libraries as critical centers of learning, creativity, and community development. TASCHA’s focus is to incubate new ideas and solutions that will propel the public library field forward, serving as an open platform for thought leaders from within and outside the library sector to engage on the pressing issues facing the field.

Maria Garrido

Massive Open Online Courses and Development: An examination of MOOC usage for professional workforce development outcomes in Colombia, the Philippines, & South Africa

This research discusses the findings from a recently released study on the use of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) in less-developed countries, and the contribution of these new learning platforms in advancing employability outcomes of youth analyzed through the lens of social innovation theory. The authors believe this study has made a significant contribution to understanding MOOC usage in less-developed country contexts that both provides stakeholders in workforce development and education with insights and offers a foundation on which future research can be built. The potential for increasing MOOC uptake and improving employment opportunities, especially for more marginalized populations, is clearly there. This is promising, and urges action since the data shows that MOOC users are savvy in using the knowledge they’ve gained from MOOCs to advance their professional aspirations.