Internet and Social Media Use in Cuba
My current research examines the use of the internet in Cuba, particularly how Cubans utilize social media. I’m conducting a longitudinal study in this space to explore how increased access to the Internet (specifically social media) affects culture, perspectives, and relationships. Read the paper with my latest findings here.
Based on ethnographic research findings, and using an iterative design process, I’m building a crowdsourced information retrieval system to help meet the information needs of people living in Cuba. Check out the Cuba Intercambio Facebook group.
GrapeVine is an app-based game for Android. Using MIT’s App Inventor 2, I designed, built, tested and deployed the app.
Inspired by the cultural tradition of Day of the Dead puppets, Wise Kitty is an interactive fortune-telling toy that answers your questions with the push of a button (think Magic 8 Ball). Using Arduino and Processing (along with my own artistic flair) I designed and built this toy.
This study served as a qualitative exploration of the subreddit community, r/SerialPodcast, an explosive group composed of fans of the popular NPR podcast, Serial. My research team and I are exploring the complications that arise from citizen journalists not understanding the ethical quandaries of journalism and the role that online networks play in propagating these complications.
Access to Learning Resources in Economically Depressed Communities
I worked with Professor Betsy DiSalvo and PhD student Parisa Khanipour in the Culture and Technology Lab at Georgia Tech. Our research explored technology use among parents in financially depressed communities and how interaction with technology affects their children’s education. I assisted in conducting interviews with participants, gathering and coding data, and analyzing results. Our initial findings are summarized in the paper, “Exploring How Parents in Economically Depressed Communities Access Learning Resources,” which was published at Group 2014.
I assisted Jill Dimond on an aspect of her dissertation research with Hollaback!, a social movement organization that uses technology in order to bring awareness to and stop street harassment. I conducted ethnographic research with users of Hollaback! to discover how new communication technologies support social movements. Using Emancipatory Action Research and qualitative methods, we found that sharing stories of harassment online shifted participants’ cognitive and emotional orientation towards their experience. The paper summarizing our findings, “Hollaback!: The Role of Collective Storytelling in a Social Movement Organization,” received a best paper nomination at the Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) Conference in 2013.
Facebook as a Parallel Public Sphere
My masters thesis focused on the use of Facebook by Colombian immigrant women. Using ethnographic methods, I explored how participants utilized Facebook for impression management and political activism.