New Media Technologies and Civic Literacy

Investigator: Rebecca Black (with William Tomlinson, UCI Department of Informatics)

Graduate Student Researcher: Yen-Lin Chou

Funding: UCI Council on Research, Computing, and Literary Resources

Civic literacy, a key component of democratic society, is the ability to participate effectively and bring about change in local community and broader social contexts. The purpose of this project was to create an informal online learning community that fosters civic literacy and the development of an effective public voice by creating a central location in which there is an explicit focus on (1) improving traditional print-based literacy and persuasive writing skills, (2) identifying social problems and gathering and analyzing information related to solving them, and (3) raising community awareness and gathering support to solve such problems through active engagement with social issues and interaction with peers who share similar interests.