Reviewed “It’s Complicated” and “The App Generation” for JoCAM

Vicky Rideout invited me to write a book review for the Journal of Children and Media this past year, on two recent, high profile books that deal with issues of digital youth. I’m happy to report that the book review is out, and I believe is fully available for download for the public. Please check it out here:

Ahn, J. (2014). Book Review – It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens; The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World. Journal of Children and Media8(3), 313-316.

Designing and Using Social Media for Childrens’ Science Learning

How can we design and use social media with children? It’s a complex issue that is less explored in the research literature (for a myriad of reasons related to policy, safety, convenience etc.). Add onto that the complexity of “learning” science; how could we use social media to promote science learning for children?

I’m really excited to share our paper, which will be presented at the CSCW 2014 Conference in February, called “Selfies for Science”. It’s a case study of our 2-year design process of a social media app for kids called ScienceKit, and how new types of collaborative learning configurations can happen when we implement it in an informal science program.

Check out the paper here.

ASIS&T 2013

Several papers from my projects with colleagues and students were presented at ASIS&T 2013 in Montreal, Canada. Check them out below:

Ahn, J., Butler, B. S., Weng, C., & Webster, S.A. (2013). Learning to be a better Q’er in social Q&A sites: Social norms and information artifacts. In Proceedings of the Association of Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) 76th Annual Meeting. [PDF]

Kim, J., & Ahn, J., (2013). The show must go on: The presentation of self during interpersonal conflict on facebook. In Proceedings of the Association of Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) 76th Annual Meeting. [PDF]

Waugh, A., Taylor, N. G., Subramaniam, M., Ahn, J., Druin, A., Fleischmann, K. R. (2013). Young people’s engagement in content creation: An analysis of outliers. In Proceedings of the Association of Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) 76th Annual Meeting. [PDF]

Students, SNSs, and Social Capital

My first year as an Assistant Professor has been a whirlwind; moving to a new place, adjusting to a new institution, and finding my way. Luckily I’ve had a tremendous amount of data from my dissertation to keep me occupied on the research front. My dissertation consisted of an experimental study of the effects of using a social network site in high school classrooms. I’m in the process of preparing a manuscript for review in a journal, but I thought I’d share some of the results.

Interestingly, the SNS used in the high schools I worked with had a slightly negative effect on how connect the students felt to their peers in school. However, I also surveyed the students on their use of other popular sites like Facebook and Myspace. The result? Students who actively used other SNSs reported much higher connection to their peers in school. What does this mean for educators? I think there are positive and unexplored possibilities of using social media tools to better engage students to their school community. This type of engagement is not about learning specific content… but being connected, or having more social capital, is often related to positive outcomes in school such as students persisting to graduation and achieving higher. Could we use SNSs to better connect young people to school?

Social Network Sites and Youth: Paper Published in JASIST

I recently had a paper accepted and published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST). The article appears in their Advances in Information Sciences series, and is a review of the critical questions that surround youths participation in social network sites. How do they use them? What are the hypothesized effects on youth relationships, psychological well-being, and learning? These are some of the issues I consider in the article. You can find the article here, or feel free to contact me and I would be happy to share the article with you.