Category Archives: Social Informatics

LIS 421 Social Informatics

I’m excited to teach Social Informatics this semester at Simmons SLIS. I’ve built upon my colleague Dr. Lisa Hussey‘s excellent syllabus to include perspectives from the critical informatics and critical information studies literature. It was a real challenge to not include more readings. The course Moodle will include several additional suggested readings, as well. Overall, I’m quite pleased with the course, which definitely emphasizes more critical theoretical perspectives than I have previously incorporated. I believe the course will be much stronger, more timely and relevant, as a result.

Here is the link to the syllabus (v.10) for this semester.

“Social Informatics” refers to the body of research and study that examines social aspects of computerization – including the roles of information technology in social and organizational change and the ways that the social organization of information technologies are influenced by social forces and social practices. This graduate seminar is for students interested in the influence of information technology in the human context, including cultural heritage, professional concerns, and social inequities. The course introduces some of the key concepts of social informatics and situates them into the view of varied perspectives including readers, librarians, computer professionals, authors, educators, publishers, editors, and the institutions that support them.

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Describe a variety of social, political, and economic contexts that shape information and communication technologies (ICTs) and their impact on society.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of social systems and how they interact with ICTs.
  • Discuss concepts that illuminate the intersections of race, class, gender, identity, ability, and ICTs.
  • Identify a range of ethical, legal, and policy issues that impact the design and use of ICTs.


Social Informatics @ OU Spring 2015

I’m teaching a new course next semester at the University of Oklahoma School of Library and Information Studies (OU SLIS), titled “Social Informatics.”  I had the great privilege of being able to support Professor Les Gasser as a Teaching Assistant for the past three years during my doctoral program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  I look forward to building upon the course that we offered at Illinois for our undergraduate and graduate students, here at OU.

In the video below, I introduce the topic of social informatics and talk about how theories and methods from this sub-field within Library and Information Science can help us understand — and gain more control over — our interactions with information and communication technology in our everyday lives. For more information about the course LIS 4970, please visit the description on our website at OU SLIS.